Solarize Team Training Spreads the Reach of the Solarize Teams

Indianapolis, IN –Solarize Workshop prepares teams from around the state to seed solar neighborhoods in their home towns. Between June and December 2017, the all-volunteer initiative resulted in a 20% increase in the number of registered solar homes in our state.

On June 22th, Solarize Indiana will hold a Team Training at Englewood Christian Church, 57 North Rural Street, Indianapolis. The training is open to anyone around the state who is interested in joining or starting a Solarize initiative in their community. Teams from around the state will congregate to make a plan of action for bringing solar to their own communities.

The Solarize Indiana initiative has made waves since its considerable initial success in 2017 – increasing the number of registered solar homes in Indiana by 20%. The achievement is at odds with recent legislation which has undermined some of the financial benefits of going solar.

IMPACT OF NEW FEDERAL TARIFF ON DEMAND FOR IMPORTED PANELS:

Initiated in January, 2018, the new federal tariff on imported panels was intended to shift the US demand for solar panels to US produced solar panels. However, in Solarize Indiana’s competitive proposal process, the ten solar installers that submitted proposals almost uniformly proposed imported panels. Only two of 20 proposed panels were made or assembled in the U.S.

IMPACT OF INDIANA SENATE BILL 309:

The push for immediate installation of solar is brought on partly by Senate Bill 309, signed into law in April 2017, which will eventually reduce in stages the financial benefit of installing solar panels. In Bloomington, however, the demand for solar continues to be high despite the passage of the bill, and the long-term effects are yet to be determined.

Research in California has also indicated that the demand for solar is influenced by the prevalence of solar in the area. Installing solar panels is, in a sense, contagious—a notion that the Solarize movement has taken and acted upon. The model of a solar neighborhood is in essence to concentrate on supporting solar energy in a particular area so as to create a high concentration of solar powered homes which in turn incentivizes other community members to follow suit.

The diversity within the Solarize Indiana initiative has also been remarked upon, which has included Anabaptists, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, mainline and evangelical Protestants, and Unitarians. Presenters at Saturday’s training include individuals aged 19 through 89 who have taken up the initiative to preserve the earth for their own and future generations. The realization of the importance of solar is taking root across age and faith divides, and, by bringing in teams from the far corners of the state – from northwest Indiana to Jeffersonville, the workshop seeks to broaden its geographic diversity as well.

“Where solar is planted, it grows,” observed Madeline Hirschland, chair of Solarize Indiana. “It’s exciting to see Hoosiers helping make solar a new normal here in the heartland.” Adds Katherine Tilghman of the Interfaith Community of Environmentalist Youth,

It’s a sign that people are starting to realize that if you want to see change, you have to make it happen yourself.

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