Originally published in @theU on Mar. 21, 2016
By the University of Utah Sustainability Office
The University of Utah has announced the return of its very popular community solar energy installation program, U Community Solar, which offers U community members the opportunity to purchase discounted rooftop solar panels and installation for their homes.
U Community Solar is open to all members of the university community, including faculty, staff, students, alumni and campus guests from Salt Lake, Summit and Davis counties. The program runs from March 15 through Sept. 30, 2016.
U Community Solar simplifies the process by prescreening solar companies to meet specific qualifications and by negotiating discounts up front. After a competitive process, the U has selected Creative Energies to again partner as the installer for the program.
“Our program was so well-received that we have had regular calls to bring it back,” said University of Utah Chief Sustainability Officer Amy Wildermuth. “Working with the students and Utah Clean Energy and with tremendous support from the university, we are thrilled to offer the program again and hope to achieve even greater results this time around. Like many who participated in the program, I am not just saving money with my solar panels. I am able to show others how we can impact our community and our well-being with the choices we make in energy use. Even better, at the discounted prices available this time around, I plan to add more panels to power my new electric vehicle.”
When the university first ran the program in 2014, U Community Solar was one of the largest discount solar campaigns in the country. That first effort resulted in 380 homeowners installing a total of 1.8 megawatts of solar panels — three times the program’s initial goal. That much clean energy will prevent 13 million pounds of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere, the equivalent of cutting 4 million automobile miles annually.
To get started, homeowners should first take the online solar survey. After completing the survey, those interested in learning more about the program are invited to attend one of the information sessions, where representatives from Creative Energies, the U and the program administrator, Utah Clean Energy, will detail the process and answer questions. Sessions are available at the following times:
- March 30, 4-6 p.m., Union Theater in the A. Ray Olpin Union Building, 200 S. Central Campus Drive
- April 25, 4-6 p.m., Red Rock Conference Room (level A, Room W-A350) in the University of Utah Hospital, 50 N. Medical Drive
- May 17, 4-6 p.m., Gould Auditorium in the Willard Marriott Library, 295 S. 1500 East
The program is made possible by the continued support of the Associated Students of the University of Utah, which has generously allocated a portion of student fees to fund the administrative costs of the program. In addition, Utah Clean Energy is again working with the University of Utah’s Sustainability Office to provide day-to-day support and outreach for the program.
For updates and details visit: mycommunitysolar.org/ucommunitysolar.