Quincy Climate Action Network promotes energy conservation and efficiency, and the use of renewable energy by government, businesses, and residents.
QCAN came together in early 2012 in response to the city’s abandonment of plans for a 1.5 megawatt wind turbine on Moon Island. Since our founding we have made our views known in the media and in several meetings with city officials. In addition, many QCAN members serve on the mayor’s Climate Change Committee, finding ways to reduce fossil fuel usage and increase the production of clean renewable energy in our city.
We welcome Quincy residents and others to our monthly meetings, and we are looking for new members to bring the ideas and energy to our projects and endeavors. For more information or to join, please contact info@QuincyCAN.org.
Officeholders Sign Up for Solar Assessments
June 12, 2015
“My wife and I were pleased to hear that our home and garage may provide a good platform for a solar energy installation,” said Ward 3 City Councilor Kevin Coughlin. Four officeholders, including Coughlin, Sen. John Keenan, Mayor Thomas Koch, and School Committeewoman Anne Mahoney, have signed up for an assessment from Solarize Quincy, a state- and city-sponsored program that provides discounted solar panels to Quincy residents and businesses, but Coughlin is the first to have his property assessed.
The assessment, including satellite imaging and a site visit, determined that Coughlin “has a southern-facing roof, limited shading, and enough room on the roof” for an 18-panel system, said Brian Hession, a residential sales associate with Solar Flair, the exclusive installer for Solarize Quincy. The system would supply 82 percent of Coughlin’s household electricity, according documents provided by Hession, and with discounts and incentives, it would pay for itself in about three years and yield almost $70,000 in savings over its 25-year expected lifetime. By replacing electricity from fossil-fuel-fired generators, the system would also result in 3.8 fewer tons of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, emitted into the atmosphere yearly.
In explaining his interest in solar panels, Coughlin cited the environment as well as the potential savings. “I am a supporter of alternative energy both as a resident homeowner and as a local elected official,” he said, pointing out that he has supported the installation of solar panels on city property and introduced environmental laws and resolutions as a city councilor.
Rebecca McWilliams, lead volunteer with Solarize Quincy and past chair of the Quincy Climate Action Network, praised Coughlin for “showing leadership on energy and environmental issues by participating in the Solarize Quincy program and getting a free solar assessment.”
Residents have until June 30 to sign up for solar panels through Solarize Quincy. The program will hold an educational event for home- and business owners on Monday June 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the Thomas Crane Public Library, 40 Washington Street, Quincy, MA.
For more information or to sign up for an assessment, go to solarizequincy.weebly.com.
Solarize Program Passes Milestone
May 8, 2015
As of early May, Solarize Quincy, a state- and city-sponsored program providing discounted solar panels to Quincy residents, has contracted to install a total of 147 kilowatts of solar panels at 26 Quincy residences, with the smallest installation consisting of nine panels, or 2.3 kilowatts, and the largest consisting of 52 panels, for over 14 kilowatts.
Because the program has surpassed 100 kilowatts, homeowners will get 10 percent off the program’s already discounted price, said Dan Barnett, residential sales manager for SolarFlair, the Ashland-based contractor that won a competitive bidding process to be Solarize Quincy’s exclusive installer. He predicted the program will soon hit 200 kilowatts, at which point all participants will enjoy an additional 3 percent discount.
Installation of the panels will begin in early June and continue through the summer, said Barnett.
“It’s exciting to see so many Quincy households enroll in Solarize, and take advantage of the discounted pricing,” said Shelly Dein, the city’s energy manager. “The payback for residential solar systems is often about 5 years, and through Solarize Quincy, it will be even quicker, making solar a smart financial decision and making Quincy a more environmentally sustainable community.”
“Solarize Quincy has moved along very quickly compared to similar programs that SolarFlair has participated in,” added Barnett. “Without the help of the City and Solarize Quincy volunteers, we wouldn’t have reached 100 kilowatts this quickly.”
Quincy Climate Action Network has supplied the vast majority of volunteers, according to David Reich, QCAN board chair. To get discounted solar through Solarize Quincy, homeowners must sign a contract before the end of June. Rebecca McWilliams, the program’s chief volunteer, encourages all Quincy residents to learn more about solar by attending solar open houses on May 16 and May 30. “Come and see solar panels in action and speak with homeowners who have installed solar systems, Solarize Quincy volunteers, and SolarFlair,” McWilliams said.
For more information on the open houses and Solarize Quincy, visit www.SolarizeQuincy.weebly.com.
Solarize Quincy to Hold Kickoff Event
Solarize Quincy, a program that offers discounted solar panels to local residents and business owners, will launch on Tuesday, March 3 at 7pm with a public event at Atlantic Middle School. The event, called Solar 101, will introduce attendees to the financial incentives for installing solar, including cheaper electricity, federal rebates, and the group-purchasing discount that Solarize participants benefit from, says Rebecca McWilliams, Solarize Quincy’s lead organizer. They will also learn about the environmental benefits of solar power, and there will be plenty of time for audience questions.
Speakers will include a representative from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center–a quasi-state agency that, is cosponsoring the program along with the City and the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, and a representative of SolarFlair, the Ashland-based company that won a competitive bidding process to be exclusive installer for Solarize Quincy. Solar Flair was chosen from among four bidders because of their pricing, local ties, commitment to open an office in Quincy, and their experience as installer for Solarize programs in Newton, Brookline, Carlisle, Chelmsford, and Arlington, where they installed a total of 380 solar systems, according to McWilliams and David Reich, board chair of Quincy Climate Action Network (QCAN), who served on the selection committee. “Everyone at SolarFlair was very excited about the news, and to be given the opportunity to serve Quincy residents the SolarFlair way, with high quality workmanship and personalized customer service,” says Dan Barnett, residential sales manager for the installer.
By June 30, when Solarize Quincy ends, McWilliams hopes to have increased the number of solar installations in the City by 200, thus, reducing Quincy’s reliance on fossil fuels and its contribution to climate change. Plans to publicize the program go well beyond the kickoff meeting on March 3rd. Volunteers from QCAN will be signing people up to have their houses assessed for solar panels at community events such as the Lunar New Year Festival on March 1. Solarize will also have a visible presence at Cleaner, Greener Quincy, in early May, and hopes to sponsor a contingent in the Flag Day parade.
“If you have a good site and a newer roof, and you want a lower electric bill,” McWilliams says, “there has never been a better time to go solar in Quincy,”
For more information or to sign up to have your house or building assessed, go to http://SolarizeQuincy.weebly.com/
Quincy Selected To Participate in 2015 Solarize Mass Program
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and the Green Communities Division of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources have selected the City of Quincy to participate in the 2015 round of Solarize Massachusetts (“Solarize Mass”), a statewide initiative that since 2011 has facilitated contracting for over 16 megawatts of solar energy systems on 2,400 properties. With the City’s participation in this program, homeowners and business owners in Quincy will, for several months while the program is ongoing, be able to install solar photovoltaic (PV) at a significantly discounted cost than otherwise possible. The more homes and businesses that choose to add solar energy, the more steeply discounted the solar panels will be for everyone.
The program will be organized by Solarize Quincy team coach, Quincy resident Rebecca McWilliams, who is a member of the Mayor’s Climate Change Committee and the outgoing Chair of the Quincy Climate Action Network. The team will rely on volunteers to spread the word to as many home and business owners as possible to sign up for a solar assessment to see if their properties are suitable for solar. Owners will then get proposals from the installer, and sign contracts by June 30, 2015 to receive the discounted pricing. Also part of the Solarize Quincy team are staff from the Public Buildings Department and Planning Departments.
Already the team has a robust group of people potentially interested in installing solar panels. Four hundred and forty-six people indicated they’d like to learn more about pursuing solar power for their home or business in response to a Planning Department survey released last spring. The Solarize Mass Interest Survey has collected more than 900 responses to date and was instrumental in the City’s selection to participate in the 2015 round of the program. With the price of PV dropping, it is already often a wise financial decision to install panels if your property is not heavily shaded and you have a newer roof. Now with discounted pricing through the Solarize program, and rising electricity rates, it is an even better deal.
The Solarize Quincy team aims to educate as many people as possible about the cost-saving and environmental benefits of solar PV, and to lower the barriers of adoption for those who are interested. If you’d like to learn more about the program please visit http://www.solarizequincy.weebly.com and read the FAQ page, or fill out an online sign up form. Information sessions will also be held in the next few months to provide residents an opportunity to learn about the program in person- stay tuned!
Go Solar For Less with Solarize Quincy!
Click below to be directed to Solarize Quincy’s interest form.
Join our campaign to tackle this global challenge on a local level! QCAN is on Facebook, Meetup, and http://www.quincycan.org and we are recruiting new members.