To the editor of THE EAGLE:

The Solarize Great Barrington-Egremont program is well under way and has its first signed contracts. My wife and I will be generating our own solar power as soon as we can get rid of the snow that’s hiding our roof. But I have a confession to make: our initial motivation for going solar was purely financial. We were driven by the idea of free electric power after the six years or so it would take to pay off the investment. We were not particularly motivated by the social benefits of solar power.

I tend to be skeptical that my individual actions can effect real change, but I’m beginning to reconsider this attitude. Recent news stories have reported that the public utilities are complaining about the need to buy power from small-scale solar generators. They have even gone so far as to propose piloting large-scale solar generation production themselves. So it seems that not only will we be, in a small way, reducing our own carbon footprint. We’ll be helping to nudge our public utilities in the right direction.

Residents of Great Barrington and Egremont have been joining us in a big way. Since the Solarize Great Barrington-Egremont project began, with a hugely attended kickoff meeting on Jan. 29, nearly 300 residential and small business property owners have signed up for assessments.

We have selected RGS Energy as the installer for our project. You may remember RGS Energy by its previous name, Real Goods Solar, the company that contracted over 1.5 megawatts of power in Lee, Williamstown, and Northampton during the last round of Solarize Mass. RGS Energy will be featured at our Meet-the-Installer event at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center on Sunday, March 2, at 11 a.m.

Whatever your motivation for going solar, if you’re a property owner in Great Barrington or Egremont, I hope you will join us at the Mahaiwe and learn more about this terrific program. You can also go to www.SolarizeGBandEGR, or email SolarizeEgremont@gmail.com or SolarizeGB@gmail.com for more
information.

MALCOLM FICK

Great Barrington