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.