Due to popular demand, Williamstown and Lee residents have another month to consider taking part in a state-sponsored solar energy program expected to help dozens of local homeowners eventually save money on their electric bills.
For the second consecutive year, the deadline to enroll in Solarize Mass has been extended to Oct. 31, according to the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), which is overseeing the program.
MassCEC officials on Wednesday cited the 269 solar projects in the state -- 41 in Williamstown and 23 in Lee -- as one reason extending the deadline past the original Sept. 30 enrollment cutoff date.
Local representatives of Solarize Mass say interest also remains high in the two Berkshire communities given the dozens of contracts still pending between residents and the towns' designated solar array installer, Real Goods Solar.
"I believe the interest is so strong, we should leave the window open ... as the [company] salesman is out straight," said Roger Scheurer, Lee's coordinator for solar energy program.
"Our salesman is out straight too and we have more people inquiring about the program for the first time," added Williamstown solar coordinator Jake Laughner.
Colorado-based Real Goods Solar is one of five private solar energy companies installing solar arrays in 10 cities and towns participating in the latest round of Solarize Mass. MassCEC is currently accepting applications for this year's second round from communities who haven't previous participated in the program.
Solarize Mass is designed to assist home and small-business owners to invest in solar photovoltaic panels to generate electricity for their own use.
Homeowners have the option to purchase the photovoltaic system outright from the designated installer, lease the solar panels, or have the solar energy company own and maintain the panels, with the electricity generated being sold to the homeowner at a rate lower than the utility.
To reach Dick Lindsay:
or (413) 496-6233.