Making it easier and less expensive to go solar in Fairbanks!
Preferred Installer Renewable Energy Systems (RES) and Solarize Fairbanks are working together to facilitate Alaska’s first Solar Pledge effort. RES has committed to install one Solar PV system to those in need in each solarizing area - Chena Loop, Downtown, Eielson Farm Road, Denali, and Farmers Loop. With 413.03kW purchased this year, this effort would bring an approximate additional 38kW across the Interior.
Being the first Solar Pledge effort for RES, Solarize Fairbanks, and Interior communities, here’s how we aim to make this effort work:
How Does it Work?
Solarizing Areas will be donated one Solar PV system up to 10% of the area’s collective kW purchased. Each community will work with each other to nominate a residence, business, community space, organization, etc. of need to receive the free installation. Area Organizers will be leading the charge - working together with their communities to brainstorm and nominate their entity of choice.
- Nominations will be due by October 15, 2021 -
Once decided, Area Organizers, RES, and the nominee will confirm and get on the schedule for their new installation in 2022.
Both RES and Solarize Fairbanks are committed to making this effort as equitable, transparent, and community-driven as possible. Our Core Team has worked for over 3 months with local grant writers and national energy democracy experts to determine the best process for this effort:
- To avoid conflict of interest, neither Solarize Fairbanks or RES will make any decisions on nominations during the selection process. We want communities to engage and decide for themselves.
- We keep our definitions of eligibility and need simple. Any one home, business, community or shared space, government building, organization, or entity that would benefit from a solar pv system, and can otherwise not afford it is eligible.
- We made disclosing financial information, like income or energy usage, optional in this process. We don’t want income brackets or disclosure to become a barrier to be nominated.
- Each community has been given explicit guidelines around equity and consensus in the nomination and selection process to ensure we are on the same page. We want all who wish to participate to be heard and valued throughout the process. We trust our communities to make the right decision.
One of the barriers we want to be transparent about is where this leaves tenants in our community. The Solarize Model assumes that participants own the building/lands that they reside or work on, and does not give any answers of how tenants and our coalition effort can navigate the logistical and legal agreements in utility set-up and costs, to rental contracts. Any effort to participate would be solely at the discretion and benefit of the landlord/property manager, and not the tenants. We have been, and are in conversation with tenants on how Solarize Fairbanks can do better and build our structure and model that includes and benefits both tenants and their landlords. For this Solar Pledge effort, we do not have those answers or guidance, yet. If you have any knowledge or resources that can help this challenge, we welcome your contributions!
We acknowledge that installing a solar pv system is a several thousand dollar investment, and communities that are the most impacted by climate and financial crises are the communities that are both restricted and need access to clean energy the most. We aim to provide the knowledge, resources, and support for those communities to access and afford solar energy collectively. With the Solar Pledge led by RES, we hope to help pilot those goals to reality.
How Can I Participate?
Anyone within our Chena Loop, Downtown, Eielson Farm Road, Denali, and Farmer’s Loop campaigns can nominate an entity of their choosing in their area. Those seeking a nomination for the free installation can nominate themselves, but will be omitted to participate in the final vote to avoid conflict of interest. Area Organizers will connect with their areas to gather nominations, host any meeting or event, and tally votes for the final nominations. Nominations across campaigns will be due by October 15th. Nominations proposed after that date will not be accepted to ensure nominees are put onto the 2022 installation schedule.
Solarize Fairbanks will post any upcoming events, meetings, or polls here and on our Facebook.
Make your nominations by area here below!
Remember your participation is only eligible if you are in a solarizing area - Chena Loop votes in Chena Loop, ect.
Final Numbers are IN!!
Congratulations to our communities for getting 413.02kW this year!
We're in the news!
2021 Energy Efficiency campaign
Sign up for our Energy Efficiency campaign here! Through September 1st, you can sign-up to receive a group discount on an energy audit for your home or business. This year we are working with Dan Spillane and Jim Fowler to provide group discounts on audits. Reduce your energy bill and think about your impact on the planet! Anyone in the Fairbanks North Star Borough and Denali Borough can participate in the Energy Efficiency Campaign! (That’s right, you don’t need to have or want solar panels to get discounted energy audits this summer). The purpose of this campaign is to get as many people to sign up for energy audits for their home, business, non-profit, place of worship to receive a large group discount. Register here to confirm your spot for an energy audit by September 1st.
Prices can be found here.
Wait! Are you a small business? Thanks to a US Department of Agriculture program, you may be eligible for an even deeper discount on your energy audit. Register to find out more.
Reviews from Solarizers so far!
“Dan Spillane is really knowledgeable about the energy issues and he was so generous in taking time to explain things to me at both a technical and personal level”, says Terry Chapin, a homeowner who received an energy audit through Solarize Fairbanks Energy Efficiency program.
Terry Chapin, a satisfied recipient of an audit through this year’s Energy Efficiency campaign, gave a sincere testimonial, “If people are interested in reducing their impact on the climate or if they want to save money by reducing their energy use, the best thing to do is to sign up for an energy audit through Solarize Fairbanks. Dan was very quick in getting back to me and coming out to do an energy audit. He was extremely knowledgeable about the issues regarding energy efficiency and effective in being able to explain that to me very clearly and simply and providing any technical details I was curious about. I was really impressed with the quality of the audit. Over the long term it will save us money, but the biggest motivation is doing something to minimize our impact on the climate.”
Questions, concerns, ideas? Send us an email > [email protected]
Visit our facebook page for more updates and information! Solarize Fairbanks - Facebook
Learn more about Solarize Anchorage Campaign >>
Visit our Facebook Page to see updates and connect with others in the campaign!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
How does it work?
Solarize Fairbanks will work with community members to organize and purchase solar panels as a group to receive discounted rates on energy efficiency upgrades and solar panels and installation. Local discounts will be paired with federal tax credits and grants along with local financing options.
Has this happened before?
Yes, and not just in Fairbanks! There are Solarize initiatives in Anchorage, Kenai, and a Thermalize project in Juneau. Our first year in 2020, we had 3 area campaigns help their friends and neighbors get solar for 77 homes and businesses. Now with 5 area campaigns, we are positioned to exceed expectations once more!
Is my area eligible to participate?
Yes! For a group to be eligible, you will need at least TWO campaign leaders who will organize your area and serve as campaign leaders along with Solarize Fairbanks volunteers.
What am I asking my neighbors to commit to?
You are asking if they are seriously interested in investing in energy efficiency and solar PV in the summer of 2020. If the campaign goes forward in your neighborhood, they will work with the selected installer and receive a solar quote. At that point, it will be their decision on whether or not to go forward with the investment.
How much does a solar PV system cost?
This depends! But right now without any tax credits or discounts the cost of solar PV in Fairbanks is around $4 per watt. Our goal is to reduce the cost of a solar PV system by at least 10% and even lower if you are eligible for the 26% federal tax credit in 2021. We’re working on a menu of discounts and financing options for homeowners and businesses.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and adhering to the recommendations of the CDC and State Administration, the Solarize Fairbanks Team will practice ‘social distancing’ and ‘self-quarantine’ (if necessary) to be proactive to slow down and combat the spread of the virus, and to protect our most vulnerable and marginalized community members. We are continuing to host virtual events and meetings and provide all needed material online or drop off. Please review our full Solarize Fairbanks’s Crisis Response Plan. This is a living document and will be changed as vaccination access and allocation develops. Read the Crisis Response Plan here >>