QUEENSBURY — Want solar energy at a discount? You have one more chance.
Southern Adirondack for Solar will hold one last event, on Monday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Queensbury Activity Center, 742 Bay Road.
The program will include a free dinner, a brief presentation on solar power and comments from residents who bought solar panels through the program this year.
Those who want solar power discounted by NYSERDA for their home must request quotes from one of the two participating solar companies by Oct. 31. Then they must sign a contract with Apex Solar or Solar Liberty by Nov. 15 to lock in the savings.
“We really want to get people who are thinking about solar to come to this event,” said organizer Kathy Bozony.
She didn’t call it their “last chance” — of course, solar panels will still be available for purchase after the event ends. More importantly, Bozony is hoping to start another campaign next year to get more people to buy solar. That event might be designed for those who can’t place solar panels on their house or property because of trees or other limitations.
This year’s campaign was only the beginning, she said.
“It’s just a start for this area. I pass houses all the time with no trees around them — perfect!” she said. “We have a long way to go. It’s a good start.”
At this point, 43 people have signed contracts to have solar panels installed. Many of them have already received their panels, but the solar companies will be working through the fall to finish the contracted jobs.
“Once you pay off your panels, it’s $17 a month for as much as you use,” Bozony said. “It’s really cool.”
That $17 is the “delivery fee” charged by National Grid for energy. That fee is still charged to solar power customers unless they disconnect from the grid completely, using rechargeable batteries hooked to their panels.
The Solarize group’s goal was to get 10 homes hooked up to solar. They hit that in just the first couple of months. Then they said they hoped to get 30 homes, with Apex Solar calling that a “definite success.”
The biggest Solarize campaign Apex has ever done, for a region far larger than this area, led to about 50 new solar power users.
It does not appear that the Southern Adirondacks campaign will beat that, but it is far more than the organizers expected.
“We are very happy,” Bozony said.
Queensbury residents ran the program, and the town had far more buyers than anywhere else, although the program is open to the entire Southern Adirondacks area.
Queensbury has 25 purchasers of solar power so far, with Glens Falls coming in second at four buyers. Lake Luzerne has three buyers at this point. Another 11 towns have one buyer each, ranging from Lake George to Argyle.