Solarize Atlanta has extended the deadline for homeowners and businesses seeking to apply for affordable bulk solar panel purchasing.
Homeowners and businesses in Atlanta now have until Oct. 31 to sign up for the program to access free rooftop evaluations.
“We needed over a thousand sign-ups to get there and I think we are pretty close,” said Jeanette Gayer, director at Environment Georgia, one of the organizations supporting the program.
Some 49 residential customers within the city of Atlanta have already signed contracts, while 736 others have signed up for free evaluations.
Once property owners sign up, residential applicants have until Dec. 31 to sign contracts while the deadline for commercial customers has been extended to April 2019.
Gayer said the program hopes to encourage businesses and residential customers in the state to consider the benefits of installing solar panels their rooftops.
“I think the program is accomplishing what we wanted. It’s giving the people of Atlanta a chance to kick the tires of solar, become more comfortable with the idea and then take the step to actually put it in their own roof,” said Gayer.
The program works this way; the more people who sign up for the program within a community, the lower the cost of installation.
“We do research on all the different materials that we are putting in to a program and we also make it easier because we negotiate the bulk price to make it easier for people to put in solar,” said Gayer.
Old Fourth Ward residents Ruth and Larry Menter were the first beneficiaries to the program in the city of Atlanta. They completed installing solar panels and a battery for their home less than a month ago.
After an investment of about $20,000, the couple, hope to cut their energy costs by half in coming months.
“The renewable energy side of it and reducing carbon emissions was probably the No. 1 reason we were looking to do it,” said Ruth Menter.
Gayer hopes communities within the city take advantage of the bulk purchasing savings and the tax credits available to sign up before the deadline expires.
The City of Atlanta’s office of Resilience supports Solarize Atlanta efforts in encouraging the market for rooftop solar panels.
“Programs like Solarize Atlanta are critical to reaching out clean energy goals,” said Amol Naik, the city’s chief resilience officer.
Solar contributes 6 percent of the city’s energy needs.