Solar Program Available in Johnson & Linn CountiesA limited-time program kicks off in April to help people learn about the benefits of solar power, and get access to competitive prices for residential, business, and farm solar installations through volume purchasing. Johnson County and Linn County are combining efforts with several partners to offer Grow Solar Linn + Johnson Counties to residents throughout both areas.
Previous programs in both counties helped a combined 413 households add affordable solar to their homes or properties. Participants saved 9 to 15% off purchase price thanks to the group buys. The programs resulted in nearly 2.8 MW of clean solar capacity valued at approximately $6.7 million.
How the Program WorksArea homeowners, farmers, and business owners can attend a free online, one-hour solar "Power Hour" to learn about solar and the volume purchasing, and sign up for free quotes and site assessments. The Midwest Renewable Energy Association is providing program assistance.
The first Solar Power Hour is at 6:30 pm on April 13, with additional Solar Power Hours in May and June. Register for a Solar Power Hour as well as program alerts at linnjohnson.growsolar.org. Program information is also available at https://www.facebook.com/GrowSolarLinnJohnsonCounties.
While the event on April 13 will be in spoken English, this year’s program will include recorded Solar Power Hours featuring American Sign Language (ASL) and closed captioning, with plans for versions in languages other than English.
Solar Reduces Utility BillsGroup purchase programs provide residents and businesses with the opportunity to invest in high-quality, renewable energy solar installations and realize savings, while helping reach sustainability goals. Estimated first-year savings on utility bills have ranged from $690 to more than $1,000, depending on the size of the array.
Solar installations added through the earlier group buys in Linn and Johnson counties offset the equivalent of 5,168,213 lbs of carbon dioxide in a single year. That’s the equivalent of carbon sequestered by over 3,000 acres of forest.
Additional Energy Efficiency InformationGreen Iowa AmeriCorps and Johnson Clean Energy District will provide energy efficiency information and, to eligible households, at-home energy efficiency kits. In addition, home energy assessments may be able to be scheduled for the fall, when it is safe to do so.
Program PartnersGrow Solar Linn + Johnson Counties is administered by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) at no cost to the counties or other program partners. Primary partners for the program include the City of Cedar Rapids, the City of Iowa City, Green Iowa AmeriCorps--Cedar Rapids/Matthew 25, Green Iowa AmeriCorps--Iowa City, Johnson Clean Energy District, Johnson County Conservation, Linn Clean Energy District, Linn County Public Health, and The Nature Conservancy in Iowa. The installer for the program will be Eagle Point Solar.