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SunShares Makes NOW a Great Time to Add 100% Renewable Electricity

By: Cate Leger, Principal, Leger Wanaselja Architecture and Commissioner, Berkeley Energy Commission

Many cities in the Bay Area have partnered with SunShares this fall to use bulk buying power to reduce the cost of photovoltaic (PV) panels and electric vehicles to an all-time low.  The program also simplifies the PV panel purchasing process, offering a short list of pre-vetted installers and free local workshops to ask questions and learn about the process.  There are even resources to sign up for 100% renewable electricity for those that can’t install solar PV.  For residential architects this is a great opportunity to share with clients.

For homeowners, now is a great time to purchase PV or an electric car.  Purchasing PV panels is a good time to consider going all electric or at least shifting some loads from gas to electricity.  One of the barriers I hear again and again to installing solar PV panels in the Bay Area is that electric use is just too low to make a difference or to interest solar installers.  Adding an electric car will dramatically increase the electrical load.  Shifting to electric heating and appliances will add more and bring projects that much closer to 100% renewable energy.

PV installation and electric vehicles still qualify for a 30% federal tax credit, even in the current political climate.  In addition, some of the costs of going all electric such as  electrical service upgrades and electric car hookups can be covered by the 30% federal tax credit.  However, these tax credits are set to expire in a few years.  Taking advantage of SunShares now ensures participation in the federal tax credit program.

Even if purchasing PV panels is not possible, shifting to a 100% renewable electricity provider makes a difference now.

Learn about SunShares: http://www.bayareasunshares.org/

Sign up for a free workshop.  There are several in-person and web based workshops around the bay area: http://www.bayareasunshares.org/events

The deadline to sign up for SunShares is November 2017.

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