Pelham Looks to Solarize Homes and Businesses

Nevan Malwana, Staff Reporter, Freshman

For many, installing solar panels has been an option that is cost inefficient, inconvenient and, though ecologically responsible, the option was simply unavailable. Now, Pelham is being given a unique chance to make that idea a reality. An organization named Solarize Westchester has been recruited by the Town of Pelham to offer cheap and efficient solar energy. Ross Solar, a company based in Pleasantville, NY, will head up the installation of Pelham’s solar panels. To qualify for solar panels, Pelham residents have to apply to the program by June 4, 2018. Solarize Westchester aims not only to bring clean energy to Pelham, but all of Westchester County.
…..Pelham Mayor Michael J. Volpe said, “The village of Pelham is excited to partner with the Solarize Westchester team to promote solar energy in our community. With electric rates rising, it would be prudent to consider investing in a solar system for your home or business in Westchester County.”
…..The Solarize Westchester program was originally founded under the one billion dollar NY-Sun initiative proposed Governor Andrew Cuomo. Solarize Westchester has already worked in places such as Peekskill, Tarrytown, and Rye Brook. Now, due to Pelham’s request, they have begun work here. The Ross Solar Company has been in the solar energy business for over a decade, and is now working under the leadership of ConEdison Solutions as of 2017. Through the NY-Sun program, massive discounts are offered by Ross Solar that make solar power cheap and affordable to all.
…..As David Paradis of Ross Solar said, “You can keep our world a little bit cleaner and greener, and save a little money doing it.”
…..Compared to standard electric, many people may think solar energy is much more expensive. However, in reality, the overall price is actually cheaper. Due to massive rebates and tax credits in New York, the price to maintain the average system of 25 solar panels is $9,178, a huge drop from the average price of solar panels which is usually around $23,000. While at first a sum around $9,000 may seem menacing, solar panels actually save huge amounts of money. By some estimates, the switch from electric to solar saves about $157 a month. However, in order to evaluate whether or not your house is eligible, Ross Solar has laid out some criteria that your house must meet.
…..First, your house must be in Pelham to qualify, though in the future, Solarize Westchester may open programs in bordering towns like Mt. Vernon. Secondly, the amount of sun your house gets also determines whether or not solar panels are right for you. If you live in a shady area, your prices will be higher, as more solar panels would be needed. Next, your energy usage, or current energy price, is a consideration. If your current energy price is very high, solar will bring you the best value, compared to if your current electric price is low. In order to see if your house meets these, and other requirements, Ross Solar provides a free consultation on a first come, first serve basis.
…..The Solarize Westchester program boasts impressive results so far, including over five-hundred installations in 2017 alone. Solarize Pelham on its own has already had over sixty sign ups for solar energy, with more expected to follow soon. With more and more campaigns being announced by Solarize Westchester, it seems as if their eventual goal of making Westchester greener is slowly but surely being accomplished.