Ann Arbor’s solar program hits a 2 megawatt milestone, saving residents 925Ok

ANN ARBOR, MI – A city program to encourage Ann Arborites to embrace solar energy recently reached a major milestone.

“I just want to highlight one performance metric that was brought to my attention today by our sustainability office,” incumbent city administrator John Fourner told the city council at its regular meeting last week.

To date, through the city’s Solarize program, which is helping residents install solar infrastructure in their homes, we have helped install 2 megawatts of local solar infrastructure, which has helped raise $ 925,000 for the residents of Ann Arbor to save on energy costs, ”said Fournier to the city council.

Anyone interested in learning more about the program can visit a2gov.org/solar, Fournier said.

“That’s super cool,” said Mayor Christopher Taylor on the news.

Solarize, which is part of the city’s A2Zero initiative to achieve carbon neutrality and supply the community with 100% renewable energy by 2030, brings together neighbors and friends for discounted bulk purchases of solar systems by participating solar installers.

Solar panel permits in the city have more than tripled since the program launched in 2019, city officials said earlier this year, noting that 118 permits were issued in 2020. A federal discount of 26% is still available for solar collector installations.

The city’s program to promote environmental and cost savings from solar energy is coordinated by Julie Roth from the city’s sustainability office. To learn more or to register for a Solarize event, contact Roth at [email protected]

The 2 megawatt milestone was reached in 285 households in and around Ann Arbor in less than two years, Roth said. It equates to about $ 927,000 saved by residents on up-front costs for solar operations, with savings of an estimated $ 11.9 million over the 25-year life of the modules, she said.

“The program is moving forward, with new groups forming regularly,” she said in an email. “We also created a city-wide solar tracker graph that is automatically updated when new arrays are completed and go live in our city. You can view this tracker on our website at a2gov.org/solar. “

Before the Solarize program, the average number of solar panels in the city has been around 30 per year over the past few years, Roth said. That was when the city raised residents’ property taxes on solar energy, which it no longer does after the changes in tax laws at the federal level.

As part of the city’s efforts to get Ann Arborites to end gas stoves and electrify buildings, the city’s sustainability bureau held a workshop last week on the benefits of all-electric air source heat pumps for heating and cooling homes.

“A2Zero is Ann Arbor’s commitment to becoming just and equitable carbon neutral by 2030, and we cannot do that without talking about electrification,” said Roth. “We have a big problem in our buildings and that is that we burn fossil fuels in them for heat.”

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