Editor’s note: This blog post is by ICL’s summer intern in the Boise office, MacKenzie Case.
This week, Idaho Conservation League’s Boise office is a little noisier than usual, but it’s for a good reason: we are installing solar panels on our roof! We are excited to make this investment as a commitment to our community, clean air and clean energy.
It’s no surprise that solar energy is gaining momentum in Idaho, as the state has the potential to have more solar energy capacity per capita than any state. Idaho Solar 1, for instance, recently became the first large-scale solar project in the state. These large-scale projects are just one way for Idaho to invest in clean energy. The market for rooftop solar is also growing.
Solar rooftop panels pay off in more ways than one. For Idahoans in the Treasure Valley, power generated from solar panels is subtracted from monthly energy bills (also known as net metering). Additionally, participants are eligible for both a federal tax credit and Idaho state tax deduction. However, the benefits of rooftop solar energy aren’t purely economic. More solar energy also decreases that amount of fossil fuel polluting our air-and it’s difficult to put a price on clean air!
Going solar can seem like a daunting process. Luckily, Idahoans in Ada and Canyon County now have a unique opportunity to invest in solar energy through the Snake River Alliance’s Solarize the Valley program. Solarize the Valley hopes to strengthen the solar market in southwest Idaho by making the process easy and affordable. By partnering with local solar installers, the program provides homeowners with a free solar site assessment and competitive guaranteed installation rates. Solarize the Valley staff and solar installers work directly with homeowners to make the entire process as seamless as possible.
Interested applicants in the Ada and Canyon County have to act fast! The deadline to sign up for a free on-site assessment is July 31, 2016. You can sign up and find more information at www.solarizethevalley.org. Solarize the Valley is also hosting a free public workshop on June 22 at 6:30 pm at the Boise Co-op in the Meridian Village (2350 N Eagle Road, Meridian, ID 83646). The workshop is a great way to learn about the program, meet the installers, hear from individuals who have already invested in solar rooftop panels and ask questions.
If you are on still on the fence about solar, we encourage you to sign up sign up for a free assessment. ICL believes that every Idahoan should have the option to choose an energy source that is both environmentally and economically beneficial. Every watt of clean energy matters, and there are thousands of rooftops in Idaho that can utilize solar energy without harming wildlife and habitat. ICL is going solar as we speak. Join us!