Dutchess County workshops to offer solar discounts

“Local workshops to offer solar discounts”

John Ferro, Poughkeepsie Journal – 5:56 p.m. EST March 1, 2016

A state-supported campaign to provide information and discounts for solar power will kick off locally Saturday, just two days after New York is expected to rule on proposed building codes that could greatly reduce roof space for panels.

The campaigns — Solarize Northern Dutchess and Solarize Saugerties — offer a minimum 10 percent discount on solar contracts signed at the events, which run from March to June.

The first informational workshops will be held Saturday in Rhinebeck and Saugerties.

The events are open to anyone, however the discounts being offered differ in each county depending on the companies that have signed up to participate.

In Dutchess, those companies are Direct Energy Solar for residential installations and Hudson Solar for both residential and commercial installations.

In Ulster, residential discounts are available from Direct Energy Solar and New York State Solar Farm. For commercial installations, it is Lighthouse Solar.

The campaigns are supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) under Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s NY-Sun initiative.

Attendees will be able to review NYSERDA figures for average installation costs — based on the dollar amount per installed watt.

“Everyone can compare apples to apples,” said John Wackman, program manager for Solarize Hudson Valley.

“This is an incredible opportunity for homeowners wishing to participate in clean energy,” Red Hook town Supervisor Robert McKeon said in a statement.

The kickoff events will come just days after the state is expected to decide on a number of changes to building and fire codes. Among them is a provision that would require setbacks from roof edges to allow easier access for firefighters.

The state Fire Prevention and Building Code Council will meet Thursday.

Solar industry officials have said the changes would greatly reduce the amount of roof space available for panels. Some municipalities, including the Town of Poughkeepsie, have already adopted similar provisions in their building codes.

In January, the Poughkeepsie Journal reported national standards being weighed by the state were published in error in 2014 by the International Code Council, a group that develops building and fire-prevention codes for structures.

John Ferro: 845-437-4816;; Twitter: @PoJoEnviro

If you go

Dutchess County solar workshops: 

March 5: Rhinebeck town hall, 12-2 p.m.

March 17: Elmendorph Inn, Red Hook, 6-7:30 p.m. 

March 31: Pleasant Valley Library, 6:30-8:30 p.m. 

April 2: Tivoli Library, 3-5:30 p.m.

April 21: Staatsburg Library, 7-8:30 p.m.

May 7: Milan town hall, 10-11:30 a.m.

Ulster County workshops:

March 5: Saugerties Senior Center, 3-5 p.m.

March 19: New World Home Cooking, Saugerties, 3-5 p.m.

April 25: Saugerties, Senior Center, 7- 9 p.m.

May 19: Saugerties Senior Center, 7- 9  p.m.

Posted in General, Hudson Solar, News.