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September 29, 2021
Launch of City's New Solar Program

City of Santa Fe and Partners Celebrate Launch of New Solar Energy Program

65 Homeowners (and Counting Have) Already Applied to Go Solar

On Monday the City of Santa Fe and its partners celebrated the launch of Solarize Santa Fe at the Nina Otero Community School. Solarize Santa Fe is a solar energy bulk-purchasing program designed to help Santa Fe homeowners of all income levels overcome financial barriers to solar installation; and to save money on their energy bills. The program, designed with a triple-bottom line approach, will accelerate the city’s progress toward carbon neutrality and has the potential to double or even triple the rates of solar adoption in Santa Fe.

“Now is the time to come together as a community and put our commitment forward to address climate change,” said Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber. “Solarize Santa Fe is going to help even more Santa Feans go solar, particular those who may be challenged financially to do it individually.”

To create a pathway of low-cost entry into renewable energy, the City of Santa Fe worked with program partners The Sierra Club and The Coalition of Sustainable Communities New Mexico to package low cost solar installation with low interest loans. They selected a featured solar installer through an RFP process that will offer discounted prices for this program. The team also encouraged local credit unions to create solar loans with lower interest rates (applicants are free to utilize their lender of choice; loans are direct from institution to borrower). As a result, most participants in Solarize Santa Fe will see immediate energy savings with no up-front cost.

Solarize Santa Fe is designed for inclusivity of all income levels. While any homeowner within city limits can apply, the Solarize team partnered with SFPS – whose workforce’s demographics reflect those of the city overall – to conduct an initial pilot outreach campaign to SFPS teachers and staff. The SFPS Board of Education was enthusiastic about the partnership, as it aligns with their strong institutional sustainability programs and goals.

“It’s great to celebrate this program and bring another little something to our sustainability in Santa Fe and to what we can offer to the staff and the educators of the Santa Fe Public Schools,” said SFPS Board of Education President Kate Noble.

Solarize Santa Fe is kicking off with a pilot that is only available to the first 50 homeowners within city limits who have solar energy installed at their home. Sixty-five SFPS employees have already applied for the program. The city has learned from other cities conducting this kind of program that approximately 25% of the initial applicants follow through with installing solar, so we are hoping to receive at least 200 applications to reach the 50 homes goal. Anyone interested is still encouraged to apply and will be placed on a waiting list for a spot in the program.

The application period will last four months, and the solar energy installations will be completed by July 2022. If the pilot is successful, the team hopes to institute a larger program next year. For more information, visit https://www.santafenm.gov/gosolar.

Contact: Neal Denton, [bot protected email address], (505) 955-2229

 

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