Chester, CT – First Selectman Ed Meehan announced today that the Town of Chester has joined the CT Solar Challenge™, a community-based group purchasing program that promotes the adoption of solar energy through cost reductions and volunteer-driven outreach and education. Chester is one of only four towns selected to participate in the program. The CT Solar Challenge™ program in Chester will run for a limited time, beginning February 28, 2013.
CT Solar Challenge™ presents a new purchasing model. Traditional marketing and advertising costs are virtually eliminated by the outreach, networking and education efforts of volunteers. Group purchasing savings are achieved by installing multiple solar systems in the same geographic area through a preselected single source vendor. These savings are passed on to participants who save thousands of dollars on the cost of installing a solar energy system.
Solar energy systems are more affordable than at any point in history. Solar panel prices are at a record low, driven down by heavily subsidized Chinese panels flooding the US market. Participants receive a 35% upfront rebate from the State of CT and a 30% Federal tax credit. Solar systems are also sales tax and property tax exempt, but the window of opportunity is closing.
Connecticut plans to completely eliminate upfront solar rebates in coming months. Residential rebates have been reduced twice in the past nine months. And, the downward trend in panel prices has ended abruptly due to new US Trade Commission tariffs imposed on Chinese panel imports.
Each system installed through the program, will earn the Town of Chester credit towards the installation of a solar system on a town property.
Chris Lenda, President and CEO of Aegis Solar Energy, said that Aegis is excited to be working with Chester and the CT Solar Challenge. The CT Solar Challenge program completely changes the way solar energy systems are currently sold and installed. Lenda said, “I can see the program spreading quickly to other communities as town leaders see the incredible benefits to residents.”
Chester residents and business owners are invited to the kick off of the Chester CT Solar Challenge™ at the first Solar Workshop to be held on February 28th, from 7-9 pm at the Chester Meeting House, and may register by visiting CTSolarChallenge.com, clicking “Chester” and filling out the form.