Senator Whitehouse and State Leadership Announce Launch of Tiverton and Little Compton Solarize CampaignsRead Now
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Senator Whitehouse and State Leadership Announce Launch of Tiverton and Little Compton Solarize Campaigns
January 29, 2015 (Tiverton, R.I.) — U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Representatives from Governor Gina M. Raimondo’s office joined the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation (Commerce RI), the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER), and non-profit marketing firm SmartPower today to announce the launch of Solarize Tiverton and Solarize Little Compton, the latest communities to join the growing Solarize Rhode Island program.
“Rhode Island has some of the highest energy costs in the country. Solarize Rhode Island’s energy efficiency programs help reduce residential and business costs now and in the future,” said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. “Together we can ‘Make it’ in Rhode Island by investing in clean renewable energy and in turn, create jobs and economic opportunities.”
Solarize Rhode Island is a municipal-based program aimed at reducing the costs of installing small-scale solar energy. Round one of Rhode Island’s pilot program in North Smithfield surpassed similar campaigns in other states, with 84 residential and small commercial solar systems contracted (equivalent to 623kW of power) in just 9 short weeks. Solarize relies on a few key components to reduce solar installation costs, including: a) a competitively-selected installer in each town; b) a tiered pricing system and time-limited offer to incentivize greater participation; and c) community-based marketing.
“Adopting renewable sources of energy is important for our environment and our economy,” said Whitehouse. “Installing solar creates jobs and reduces our dependence on the fossil fuels that drive climate change and harm public health. That’s a win-win for Rhode Island, and I applaud Commerce RI, OER, and SmartPower on this program.”
“We are pleased to be able to bring Solarize Rhode Island to Tiverton and Little Compton. With this second round of the program, we are using distributed renewable energy, coupled with existing energy efficiency programs, to increase the reliability of the power grid in these towns.” explained Marion Gold, Commissioner of the Office of Energy Resources. “Other states are looking to Rhode Island’s leadership piloting this innovative program.”
“Through this partnership, we are be able to work with towns like Tiverton and Little Compton to offer solar installations at lower costs, while helping to expand the renewable energy sector as a growing source of jobs and economic activity in Rhode Island,” said Stefan Pryor, Rhode Island Secretary of Commerce. “With greater adoption of solar energy, we hope to leverage the Solarize program to continue to provide Commerce RI’s Renewable Energy Fund resources to support such projects around the state.”
“The Town of Tiverton is pleased to participate in Solarize,” said Matt Wojcik, Tiverton Town Administrator. “The adoption of renewable energy resources at the residential level is one of many ways a community can participate in larger efforts to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. As a practical matter, everything we can do to alleviate the need for constructing additional energy transmission assets is a worthwhile step to stabilize the overall cost of living for our residents over the long term. On behalf of the Town I am grateful to the State officials involved for choosing Tiverton to be a pilot community for this initiative and will make every effort to ensure project success.”
“Whether you are someone who has thought about installing solar panels for a long time, or someone who is persuaded by the incentives and pricing, “Solarize Little Compton” will be a great opportunity for a large number of our citizens.” – Robert Mushen, Little Compton Town Council President.
“We are excited to be working with the towns of Tiverton and Little Compton for their solarize programs,” added Eric Beecher, founder of Sol Power, the Providence-based solar cooperative selected by both towns. “We would like to thank the towns for selecting a local installer and look forward to developing a relationship with the community members. We look forward to doing our part to help these communities go green and ramp up their clean energy generation.”
“We have seen the incredible success of Solarize campaigns across the country,” said Brian F. Keane, President of SmartPower. “But now Rhode Island’s communities are taking it to an entirely new level. We have said it before and we will say it again – solar just makes sense for Rhode Island!”
About Solarize Rhode Island
Commerce RI and OER jointly administer the Solarize Rhode Island program and work with SmartPower to manage projects within the municipalities. SmartPower brings marketing and community engagement expertise and helps create and manage websites, develop and distribute collateral to market the programs. Commerce RI and OER helped the municipalities select installers through a competitive bidding process and are assisting with promoting and providing ongoing support for the Solarize program.
About Commerce RI Commerce RI is the official economic development organization for the State of Rhode Island. Commerce RI’s mission is to work with public, private and non-profit partners to create the conditions for businesses in all sectors to thrive and to improve the quality of life for our citizens by promoting the State’s long-term economic health and prosperity.
Commerce RI manages the State’s Renewable Energy Fund which provides grants and loans for renewable energy projects with the potential to make electricity in a cleaner, more sustainable manner, while stimulating job growth in the green technology and energy sectors of Rhode Island’s economy. www.commerceri.com
About Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources
The Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER) is the lead state agency developing energy policy and programs. OER’s mission is to lead Rhode Island to a secure, cost-effective, and sustainable energy future. OER works closely with private and public stakeholders to increase the reliability and security of our energy supply, reduce energy costs and mitigate against price volatility, and improve environmental quality. www.energy.ri.gov
SmartPower is the nation’s leading non-profit social marketing firm dedicated to promoting clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Named the “Best Non-profit Marketing Firm in the US” in 2014, SmartPower’s mission is to help Americans make smart energy choices by creating on-the-ground campaigns that engage the public and generate measurable energy actions. www.smartpower.org
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Only three days left before we pull the plug on entries to the Rhode Island Video Contest! Submit your videos before midnight on Saturday, January 31st. www.findyourfour.com/videochallenge
Remember, all you have to do is create an original video—no longer than 60 seconds—highlighting how easy it is to find 4 ways to be energy efficient at home, school and work.
As the Nor’easter of 2015 bears down on the eastern seaboard, US Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, RI Secretary of Commerce Nominee Stefan Pryor, John Merck Fund Trustee Whitney Hatch and Commissioner Marion Gold of the RI Office of Energy Resources joined a host of local leaders to kick off “Round II” of Solarize Rhode Island.
The serious storm preparation served as an important reminder that solar is an important part of the climate change solution. Speakers at the Monday Solarize event pointed out that residential and small commercial solar – and programs like Solarize — are part of the climate change solution, in addition to addressing the jobs challenge and Rhode Islands’ efforts to ensure affordable, consistent energy for everyone.
Solarize Tiverton and Little Compton follow on the heels of the hugely successful Solarize North Smithfield campaign that saw 84 residential and small commercial sign ups for solar in just 9 weeks!
Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo and US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse will take part in the launch of Phase II of Solarize Rhode Island on Monday, January 26th for the towns of Little Compton and Tiverton. Details can be found here. Joining the Governor and Senator will be Commissioner Marion Gold of the Office of Energy Resources, Whitney Hatch, Trustee of The John Merck Fund, President of SmartPower Brian F. Keane, as well as leadership from the two chosen towns. The kick off event will be held at Sandywoods Center for the Arts, an intentional arts and farming community established in rural Tiverton, Rhode Island in 2010 with a focus on sustainable living. SmartPower, the Office of Energy Resources and Commerce RI are organizing the event as part of the Solarize Little Compton and Solarize Tiverton campaigns.
Indeed, Solarize North Smithfield even surpassed some of our top performing Solarize campaigns that ran for 18-20 weeks in length.
This is continued proof that Solarize works…and that there is pent up demand for residential and small business solar!
We were able to achieve this success with amazing support from North Smithfield town officials and volunteers, our partners at RI’s Office of Energy Resources and Commerce RI, and the tireless efforts of a great installer – RGS Energy.
Solarize RI will continue to grow as we expand into new towns in 2015. Here we come, Little Compton and Tiverton!
Rhode Island State Director
Tomorrow is National “Shout Out For Solar Day!” And SmartPower is joining with thousands across the nation to show our support for solar. Join us by “shouting out” on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram! How to participate:
2014 was a year of tremendous growth for the U.S. solar industry. Today, there’s an estimated 20 gigawatts (GW) of installed capacity in the United States – enough to power 4 million American homes. With your help 2015 will be even better. Let’s spread the word by shouting #GoSolar from our desktops and mobile devices now!
The countdown is on as we head into the last three weeks before the Rhode Island Video Challenge comes to an end and judging begins. There’s still time for you to make a fun, creative video that shows how to reduce home energy use, but make sure you get it in before January 31!
And don’t forget that there are great prizes for the top videos, including an iPad for the winner and cash for your school. All the rules and prizes can be found at www.findyourfour.com/videochallenge/.
Here’s the easy way to get started:
Need some cool ideas? Maybe you should slay some energy vampires, top off your cafeteria with a green roof at your school, or maybe you should ditch the telephone?
GET TIPS: All it takes is a phone to take a great video. Check out this quick tutorial to help you get started.
We can’t wait to see what you send in. Have fun. Be creative. And don’t forget. The voting starts on February 1st.
Community Outreach Manager
We’re kicking off the New Year with a strong addition to our team. Susanna Murley joins SmartPower as our Director of Social Media, overseeing all of our on-line media and website development for our on the ground campaigns and organizational activity. Susanna is the former Digital Media Director for Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the Web Manager for Planet Forward and Sr. Communications and Marketing Specialist for the CarbonFund. In addition to her extensive experience in the field, Susanna has a Masters in Environmental Resource Policy from George Washington University, a Masters in English from University of Delaware and a Bachelors from Saint Olaf College. Susanna has won numerous awards, including a Gold Communicator Award from the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts. With this strong background in both grass tops and grassroots, SmartPower is excited to have Susanna bring her creativity and expertise to our clean energy and energy efficiency campaigns across the country. Susanna can be reached at email@example.com or 202-775-2040 and susannamurley on Twitter.
Brian F. Keane President
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