Thank you to everyone for your participation in Green Towns SunShares. Over 160 participants have enrolled in the program so far, and we're entering the final stretch for program registrations. Let's try to add another 40 registrations and grow the group to 200 before signups close on June 29th! Please spread the word to your neighbors and have them sign up online!

Note, this is only the signup deadline – there will still be time in July to schedule evaluations and receive proposals before the program pricing expires.

Thanks again for your participation, and please let us know if you have any questions.

Portola Valley Workshop - May 12th

Please join us at the Portola Valley Town Center this weekend for vendor presentations from REC Solar and SDI Insulation, along with a tour of the Town Center Solar System.

Saturday, May 12, 2012
Solar Tour and SunShares Workshop
Town Center, Portola Valley (map)
10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Great Testimonial from PV Forum

The SunShares program had the pleasure of meeting Steve Levin last Saturday at Portola Valley's Earth Day Fair. Steve wrote a great analysis of the program for the local PV Forum. Thanks Steve!

Update on Solar Panel findings for Portola Valley homes

Dear PV neighbors,

Thanks to all the neighbors who offered ideas about solar panels. Here's an update of my findings and progress.

As you may know, the Town of Portola Valley joined with other communities to organize a group buy of solar power. The Green Town Sunshares program brought together citizen volunteers to elicit and evaluate proposals from leading providers. The solar energy industry is complex and varied, so I am grateful for the hours of work donated by the team. Their selected vendor, REC Solar, is one of the largest - or the largest - installer of residential solar panels in the U.S.

I approach big investments with a strong dose of skepticism. In this case, I was pleasantly surprised but what I discovered:
  • The sales rep of REC Solar, Ben Chates, is extremely professional and knowledgeable. He answered every question clearly and competently and volunteered important information for me to c onsider.
  • The pricing is very competitive. I contacted another leading vendor (the other finalist in the process) and they couldn't touch REC Solar's price (partly because my installation is on the smaller side).
  • They offer guaranteed performance (backed by payments), and our payout is about 8.5 years, after taking into account federal tax credits and other rebates.
  • Instead of buying the equipment, I am choosing to enter into a type of lease arrangement to buy power from their partner, Sun Run. This provides more favorable financials and means that the cost of repair for 20 years is on them, not on me.
It's important to note that we looked at solar panels a few years ago and were told by a qualified supplier that we were not a good candidate because our roof was not optimally situated, the trees cast a shadow, etc. That has changed dramatically, probably because the technology is much better, so the panels are smaller and better.

So if you are at all interested in solar panels, this group buy is a terrific opportunity to evaluate. There are 28 days left to register before this offer is closed.

We are really delighted to join this well planned, cost-effective program. I hope that my research and experience saves you some work!

Best,
Steve Levin

Pricing Update

Program pricing is now available for SDI Insulation. REC Solar Pricing is below as well for your reference.

SDI Insulation Pricing Sheet


About SDI Insulation

A full service insulation, fireplace, and home performance contractor, SDI has over 35 years experience working on Peninsula homes. SDI can help you choose the right package of upgrades for your home based on your energy usage, comfort level, and budget. They're qualified on the advanced path of the Energy Upgrade California program, and can help you work through the state rebate process to help lower the cost of reducing your home's energy usage.



About REC Solar
With more than 7,000 installations over the past 14 years, REC Solar is one of the most experienced solar installers in the United States. REC Solar will make going solar easy working closely with you to identify the solar solution that meets your specific needs and budget, using quality products and professional workmanship.

In addition to the great discounted pricing offer for those interested in owning your solar system, through their partnership with SunRun, Inc., REC Solar is also providing a PPA/Lease option that enables you to install your project with little to no money upfront and immediate savings on your utility bill.

Base Pricing Sheet
Adder Pricing Sheet


Upcoming Workshops

We have scheduled a number of workshops in the coming months to introduce you to the selected contractors - REC Solar & SDI Insulation.

If you've already registered on the SunShares site, please complete the homeowner questionnaire via the link you received in your welcome email. This will provide REC and SDI with needed information about your house to prepare their representatives for your site evaluations.

Workshops

Saturday, April 21, 2012
Earth Day / Confidential Shredding
Town Hall, Hillsborough
Event from 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Presentation from 10:15 - 11:00am.
View the FLYER.

Saturday, April 21, 2012
Green Towns Los Altos
Los Altos History Museum
51 So. San Antonio Rd. Los Altos
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
For more information please click here.

Sunday, April 22
Westwind Community Barn
27210 Altamont Road
Los Altos Hills
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
For more information please click here.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Earth Day Events!
Town Center, Portola Valley
10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Saturday, May 12, 2012
Solar Tour and SunShares Workshop
Town Center, Portola Valley
10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Green Towns SunShares Kicks off in Los Altos!


Over two dozen residents turned out Wednesday night to kick off Green Town SunShares. Many thanks to the events hosts GreenTown Los Altos and 359 State Street Bikes.

If you were not able to attend, no problem! The presentation is here.

And plan to stop by an upcoming workshop in Portola Valley (see below) and stay tuned for additional events in April & May.

See you soon!

Results are in!

After a thorough review process, the evaluation committee has selected REC Solar and SDI Insulation as the vendors for the Green Towns SunShares Program!


About REC Solar
With more than 7,000 installations over the past 14 years, REC Solar is one of the most experienced solar installers in the United States. REC Solar will make going solar easy working closely with you to identify the solar solution that meets your specific needs and budget, using quality products and professional workmanship.

In addition to the great discounted pricing offer for those interested in owning your solar system, through their partnership with SunRun, Inc., REC Solar is also providing a PPA/Lease option that enables you to install your project with little to no money upfront and immediate savings on your utility bill.

Base Pricing Sheet
Adder Pricing Sheet


About SDI Insulation
A full service insulation, fireplace, and home performance contractor, SDI has over 35 years experience working on Peninsula homes. SDI can help you choose the right package of upgrades for your home based on your energy usage, comfort level, and budget. They'requalified on the advanced path of the Energy Upgrade California program, and can help you work through the state rebate process to help lower the cost of reducing your home's energy usage.

Pricing is being finalized with SDI currently and will be available shortly.

Next Steps

Step 1: Sign up for the group, spread the word!

Step 2: Please complete the short home questionnaire that you received a link to via email. We will provide REC Solar and/or SDI Insulation with this helpful information to better prepare them for your site evaluation.

Step 3: An REC Solar or SDI representative will contact you directly to schedule your site evaluation. Should you choose to install a solar system or energy efficiency upgrades, REC or SDI will work with you to complete your contract.



If you have any questions about your quote or project, please contact us. We are here to help you!

Welcome Los Altos & Los Altos Hills!

The Green Towns SunShares program is excited to announce the addition of Los Altos and Los Altos Hills to the group!

Like their neighboring Green Towns, Los Altos & Los Altos Hills are working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make it easy for residents to upgrade their homes and generate clean renewable energy.

We've included an information Flyer you can use to spread the word about the program. Welcome!!

We'd like to provide you with an update on key dates as we move into February.

Timeline
Jan. 17: A Request for Proposals was announced to local energy efficiency and solar firms
Feb. 10: Proposals are due
Evaluation Committee: 1 week to review & score proposals
Week of Feb. 20: Firm(s) selected

Additional workshops will be held throughout late February and March in each of the Green Towns to give you an opportunity to learn more and meet the selected contractors.

Call for Evaluation Committee Members!
There are 7 seats on the committee. We have an interest list started and would like to have a representative from each Green Town participate. You must be available to review 10-15 proposals, each 20 pages in length the week of February 13. Don't worry though, we are here to help guide the committee though the review/vetting process and answer any questions you have!If you'd like to participate on the committee, please send us an email through the Have Questions link.

Thank you!

Go Green Towns!

Thanks to everyone who came out Thursday night in Hillsborough! Congratulations are in order….drum roll please....58 residents have joined the Green Towns SunShares program! Nice work!

With the registration goal met, the SunShares program team will issue Requests for Proposals to Bay Area contractors this week. The contractor community will have 4 weeks to submit proposals.

Once we receive proposals February 10th, we will work with the evaluation committee to review and score each document with the goal of having both solar and energy efficiency contractor(s) selected by Feb. 20. If you are interested in filling a seat on the 7 person evaluation committee, please let us know via email. If more than seven residents express interest, we will hold a lottery and ensure each of the Green Towns is represented on the committee.

Please continue to spread the word to your friends and neighbors and check the News page for updates.

On behalf of the SunShares program team, thank you for your participation. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us.

Best regards,

Jessie Denver
Green Towns SunShares Technical Advisor
jessie@mygroupenergy.com

Kevin Armstrong
Green Towns SunShares Technical Advisor
kevin@mygroupenergy.com

Green Towns Permit Fees are Great!

With 30 group members and a community workshop planned for January 12th in Hillsborough (see post on 12/9 below), Green Towns is almost to its goal of 50!

At the Portola Valley meeting a question about permit fee costs across the Green Towns was asked and we have an answer....they are great! Your building and public works departments must love solar, these are some of the lowest permit fees in the Bay Area!

Portola Valley = $50 flat fee
Woodside = $30 flat fee
Hillsborough = No fee
Unincorporated San Mateo County = $345 + $1 per $25K of valuation for the project.

Happy Holidays from the SunShares team!


Solar is Contagious!

According to a new study by New York University and Yale, residential rooftop solar is contagious! That's right, you are more likely to install solar on your roof if your neighbors have gone solar too!

Spread the word about SunShares!

Great Work Green Towns!

Thanks to everyone who came out in Portola Valley to learn more about the Green Towns SunShares program!

After this weeks workshop, you are more than half way to your goal with 28 group members. Please continue to share information about the program with your friends and neighbors!

The next workshop will be held Thursday January 12th, 2011 at the Hillsborough Town Hall, Council Chambers at 7pm. Download the poster here.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us. Have a great weekend!

The SunShares Team


SunShares Workshop - December 6th

The next Green Towns SunShares informational meeting will be held on Tuesday December 6th at 7:30 pm. Many thanks to the Town of Portola Valley for hosting the event at the Town Center Community Hall. Please feel free to post, print and share the flyerandposter to help spread the word!

See you soon - Jessie

Good to meet you!

Many thanks to Oliver for leading yesterday evenings community meeting. We appreciate your time and look forward to working with your group (which is off to a GREAT start with 7 members)!

-Jessie

California installs more rooftop solar than most countries!

California has hit a major milestone of 1 gigawatt (GW) of solar PV on rooftops across the state - a threshold reached by just five countries. That's over 100,000 solar systems installed since 2007. To learn more about the state's Million Solar Roofs Initiative please follow this link.

Spread the word!

Download the November 14th workshop poster and share with your neighbors and friends. After all, the bigger the group the bigger the savings!

About the Bay Area Climate Collaborative



The BACC is a 501c3 non-profit public-private partnership accelerating the clean energy economy and providing replicable models of scalable climate action like the SunShares program. A project of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, major partners of the BACC include Pacific Gas & Electric, and local governments including San Mateo County representing over 70 percent of the Bay Area's population.

Welcome Green Towns residents!

The towns of Portola Valley and Woodside have teamed up with the Bay Area Climate Collaborative to help you and your neighbors organize a group buy program for energy efficiency and solar improvements in your home!

An informational community workshop will be held November 14th in Woodside at Independence Hall to answer your questions and provide details on how SunShares can help reduce the cost of upgrading your insulation or going solar!

For more details, please visit link.

See you at 7pm in Woodside!