What is a solarize program?
Even if you’ve been hearing about Solarize programs lately (like Solarize RI, Solarize CT, or Solarize NY), you might not know what “solarizing” your home or neighborhood actually entails. Solarize is sometimes confused with community solar, but in reality the two terms refer to completely different solar options. So what does this trendy verb mean, and who does it apply to?
Rhode Island’s Renewable Energy Growth (RE Growth) Program is a performance-based incentive (PBI) offered through SolarWise Rhode Island that offers financial benefits to National Grid customers who install solar on their home. PBIs pay owners of solar energy systems for the electricity produced by their system. PBIs help system owners recover the costs of installing a solar energy system and earn an attractive return.
Electricity prices in Massachusetts, Connecticut and other New England states are on the rise again this winter. Utilities cite an undersupply of natural gas to the region as the problem behind the increases. But could you take matters into your own hands by turning to rooftop solar in MA to cut costs instead?
How much will electricity cost rise?
In Massachusetts, National Grid and NSTAR customers on a ‘basic service’ tariff will see the amount they pay per kilowatt-hour (kWh) increase by on average 37% from this month and 29% from January 1st, respectively. This will translate into bill increases of roughly $33 and $28 per month for average households. Similarly, prices for Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) customers will rise by 26% from the beginning of 2015 – working out to about $17/mo in additional electricity expenditure. Investor-owned utilities like NStar and National Grid cannot not increase basic service tariffs arbitrarily, but rather must seek permission from the relevant Public Utility Commission (e.g. DPU in Massachusetts) and provide justification for any proposed changes. Common reasons include network infrastructure investment and fuel price increases – the latter of which is behind this winter’s hikes. Continue reading