Sav­ing with so­lar pan­els

County could launch Ox­ford So­lar Chal­lenge if coun­cil ap­proves

Sentinel-Review (Woodstock) - - SENTINEL-REVIEW - BRUCE CHES­SELL bches­sell@post­media.com

All along we’ve said that the so­lu­tion to 100 per cent re­new­able is in part re­new­able en­ergy gen­er­a­tion, but it’s also sig­nif­i­cantly en­ergy con­ser­va­tion.” County CAO Peter Crock­ett

County res­i­dents and busi­nesses will be try­ing to achieve net zero en­ergy us­age in one year with the help of a new chal­lenge.

Ox­ford County could be in­tro­duc­ing a pilot project that would give 16 res­i­dents and busi­nesses up to $500 in fi­nan­cial in­cen­tives to in­stall so­lar pan­els to help them reach net zero en­ergy us­age in one year.

The chal­lenge is ex­pected to cost the county $13,000 for the first year of oper­a­tion, in­clud­ing the $500 in­cen­tives and ad­ver­tis­ing.

County CAO Peter Crock­ett told the Sen­tinel-Re­view that the county wants to get a sense of the ob­sta­cles to in­di­vid­ual res­i­dents when it comes to putting so­lar en­ergy in their homes.

“All along we’ve said that the so­lu­tion to 100 per cent re­new­able is in part re­new­able en­ergy gen­er­a­tion, but it’s also sig­nif­i­cantly en­ergy con­ser­va­tion,” Crock­ett said.

The county will be holding a cam­paign if the chal­lenge is ap­proved by coun­cil to find rep­re­sen­ta­tives who are will­ing to par­tic­i­pate and put the in­vest­ment into their homes and in­ter­ested in track­ing their en­ergy con­sump­tion.

Crock­ett said that the $500 is only a small con­tri­bu­tion to what the par­tic­i­pants will have to invest in their homes and busi­nesses.

“It’s just a fi­nan­cial in­cen­tive to help them want to play with us,” he said. “We think that there’s a busi­ness case for do­ing it. Ob­vi­ously sav­ings in en­ergy costs. If you re­duce the en­ergy you con­sume, while at the same time you’re gen­er­at­ing elec­tric­ity… We be­lieve that there’s a nice bal­ance of gen­er­at­ing and track­ing how you’re con­sum­ing en­ergy.”

If county coun­cil ap­proves the chal­lenge at its meet­ing on Wed­nes­day Crock­ett said they hope to start in the fall, with so­lar in­stal­la­tions hap­pen­ing in 2018.

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