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Program Offers Solar Power Discount To Westport

WESTPORT, Conn. – Cost no longer has to be a factor keeping Westport homeowners from harnessing the energy of the sun to power their homes. Solarize Connecticut, a new pilot program designed to make solar power more affordable to homeowners, is being tested in Westport.

“Westport is extremely excited to be chosen as one of the pilot communities,” First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said in a statement. “We have long prided ourselves on being at the forefront of environmentally friendly initiatives. This is exactly the kind of program that will help us expand solar in our community and offer an excellent investment opportunity for our residents.”

Launched by the state Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority, the John Merck Fund and SmartPower, the program aims to encourage the adoption of solar power in communities by lowering the costs of solar photovoltaic systems for homeowners. These systems, installed onto homes, collect and convert sunlight into electricity for homes to use. Any unused power goes back into the local electric grid.

Here’s how the program works: Westporters can sign up to have photovoltaic systems installed on their houses. The more homeowners who sign up to install solar power, the more the prices of these systems go down.

"Solarize Connecticut is a game changer,” David Mann, chairman of the Westport Green Task Force, said in a statement. “Westport has several prominent PV (photovoltaic) installations, and many Westporters are intrigued by solar and want it on their homes. But for some, upfront costs have made that a challenge.”

With the benefit of aggregate pricing offered through Solarize Connecticut, Mann said, Westport can “continue to lead the way as a green community."

The Solarize Connecticut program is modeled from similar programs in Oregon and Massachusetts. Westport is one of four towns across the state selected as a test market for the first phase of the program. The other towns are Fairfield, Durham and Portland. Based on the results of the first phase, the program may expand early next year.

Residents have until Dec. 14 to sign up to join the pilot program. Those interested in learning more can send their name, address and email to Toni Bouchard at More information about the program can be found online.

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