Boston launches residential solar power system rebate
In June, Boston’s Mayor Menino launched a pilot solar power program for the city's homeowners. The pilot will increase the amount of solar energy in Boston from one-half megawatt today to twenty-five megawatts by 2015, or enough energy to provide all the electricity needed to power 4,000 homes. The $555,000 initiative is a part of Renew Boston and is funded by an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The program will offer rebates ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 to participants and with substantial state and federal incentives should, according to the write up at BrighterEnergy.org, "bring average payback of a residential PV installation to less than 4 years". Mayor Menino hopes the “...solar incentive program will help residents take the next step in greening their home through solar energy, saving money on utility bills and creating green jobs.”
Here's a look at current renewable energy projects in the Boston area:
One exciting component of the program is an interactive solar map of Boston, produced with the help of the Boston Redevelopment Authority. The online map has multiple features, including the locations of current renewable energy projects (solar, wind, biomass and hydro) and estimates the solar potential of any Boston area building. (For example, my apartment receives 178kWh/square meter, and could generate 14,522kWh/year, saving $2,613.)
With programs like these, Boston may pass San Francisco, California and Portland, Oregon and become the greenest city in the US!