About Solarize Upper Valley

Solarize Upper Valley is a program of Vital Communities aimed at making solar photovoltaic (PV) energy more accessible across our region. During public outreach campaigns in 2014 and 2015, we helped local volunteers more than double the number of solar homes in the Upper Valley!

Solarize Upper Valley is based on successful Solarize programs in Massachusetts and Connecticut. In 2013, the John Merck Fund and SmartPower, the organizations behind these other Solarize programs, asked Vital Communities to adapt the Solarize model for Northern New England by piloting it in the Upper Valley. Solarize programs are now taking root all over the Northeast, and soon we’ll launch an online Solarize Toolkit sharing the best of our resources with other communities. Sign up for email updates to learn more.

What Makes Solarize Work?

Community Buy-In.

Solarize Upper Valley is coordinated by Vital Communities, backed by local leaders, and championed by dedicated community volunteers. And with other local towns involved in Solarize Upper Valley, everyone benefits from shared learning.

A Trusted Installer.

Partner installers are selected competitively by each Solarize community, with support from Vital Communities and an independent technical consultant. Their pricing, equipment, and service are carefully vetted so homeowners can be confident they’re getting competitive pricing and good value.

Simplicity.

Homeowners have a lot to consider when thinking about going solar. Solarize Upper Valley’s partner installers, volunteers, events, and website offer accessible resources to help residents understand where to begin, what to expect, and the costs and benefits of going solar.

Incentives for Action.

Solarize Upper Valley partner installers offer tiered pricing: As more residents sign up to go solar, the price drops for everyone. Talk about incentive to spread the word and sign up by the deadline!

Solarize Upper Valley Partners

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Vital Communities

Vital Communities is a nonprofit organization working in the Upper Valley to bring citizens, organizations, and municipalities together to take on issues where an independent voice and regional approach are essential. Vital Communities’ Energy Program works to move the Upper Valley toward energy independence by catalyzing local efforts in energy efficiency and renewable energy. Vital Communities provided program coordination and outreach/marketing support for Solarize Upper Valley.

Sustainable Energy Resource Group

SERG is an Upper Valley organization dedicated to helping Vermont and New Hampshire homeowners and towns use less energy, save money, and protect the environment through education, outreach, and community organizing. SERG provided a variety of support for Solarize Upper Valley, including the development of resources to connect residents with energy-related opportunities beyond solar.

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Smart Power

SmartPower is the nation’s leading nonprofit marketing firm dedicated to promoting clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency. SmartPower is a leading partner in Solarize Connecticut and has also worked with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center on the Solarize Boston campaign. Founded in 2002, SmartPower has run campaigns to encourage citizens to adopt clean energy and energy efficiency across the nation. SmartPower provided marketing support for the Solarize Upper Valley program.

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John Merck Fund

Based in Boston, Massachusetts, the John Merck Fund was established in 1970 by the late Serena Merck and is now in its third generation of family leadership. Starting in 2012, the John Merck Fund will spend all of its assets over the next decade to spur progress in clean energy, environmental health, development of a New England regional food system, and treatment of developmental disabilities. The John Merck Fund provided funding for Solarize Upper Valley and has also partnered with SmartPower on Solarize Connecticut.

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