First selectmen enourage residents to go solar

Redding First Selectman Julia Pemberton, Easton First Selectman Adam Dunsby and Trumbull First Selectman Timothy Herbst share their solar stories below:

We’re not only first selectmen, we’re also homeowners. Electricity is a large chunk of our families’ budgets, and rates are only going up. The people in our towns deserve to hold on to their hard-earned money, which is why we helped our towns collaborate on Solarize Easton-Redding-Trumbull. This limited-time program helps homeowners insulate themselves from rising energy costs and lower their electric bills through solar.

All three of us started our solar story with a visit from Sunlight Solar, our towns’ chosen installer, to learn if our houses are a good fit for solar power. Here are our stories:

Redding First Selectman Julia Pemberton:

“It was easy to contact Sunlight Solar and I was excited about the potential opportunity to cut my electric bills and my carbon footprint. Unfortunately, my home is not an ideal fit for solar, but I am glad that my neighbors can participate in the program. Already, four Redding residents are installing solar through Solarize and look forward to low electricity bills over the 35- to 45-year lifespan of their panels.”

Trumbull First Selectman Timothy Herbst:

“I just completed my assessment and learned that houses like mine — facing south with young roofs and minimal shading — are very solar-friendly. As I review the proposal for my home, I’m happy to learn that solar is a viable option which can result in significant savings. From an environmental, economic development and fiscal standpoint, this is a great program, and I encourage every Trumbullite to learn if solar will work for them.

“I am also exploring financing options; if I go with a loan or a lease, the payments will be less than my monthly bill, so I can save money immediately without having to pay the full amount at once. With a lease, I can enjoy no-money-down and the insurance will be covered by the financing institution, but if I decide to buy my system outright, I can optimize my savings. Between the range of financing options and the discounted solar pricing, it seems to me that there has never been a better time to go solar.”

Easton First Selectman Adam Dunsby:

“I’m getting solar panels for my house for two reasons: It makes financial sense and it makes environmental sense. When I make some assumptions and run the numbers, I get an internal rate of return of about 12%. Nothing I can invest in now pays 12%.

“No one knows what the ultimate effects of global warming will be, but everyone knows that the globe is warming, and that carbon dioxide emissions are the main cause. It’s prudent for society to take at least some steps to reduce carbon emissions, and getting solar panels is my small contribution.”

Just as we have done, we urge residents to visit to request a solar home assessment. We hope many homeowners in our three towns will be able to join us in participating in Solarize Easton-Redding-Trumbull, especially now that we have reached Tier 5 pricing, the lowest pricing available. However, if you are interested in lowering your electric bills through solar, you must sign your contract before the program’s deadline on Feb. 9.

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