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Solarize Aquidneck Launches Island-Wide Solar Initiative, Hosts Community Workshops

On Thursday, November 12, Solarize Aquidneck will host a community workshop – Solar 101, for
residents of Aquidneck Island interested in learning more about the advantages of solar
installations on their homes and businesses.

The workshop will be held at 7 p.m. at the Community College of Rhode Island, Newport
Campus. Those who can’t attend the workshop can sign up for more information at

The workshop is the first of several to be hosted by Solarize Aquidneck, a partnership between
the Aquidneck Island Planning Commission, the Towns of Middletown and Portsmouth, City of
Newport, RI Office of Energy Resources, Commerce RI and the non-profit marketing firm
SmartPower. The purpose of Solarize Aquidneck is to encourage residents to install solar energy
systems by providing deep discounts and financial incentives. Through Solarize Aquidneck,
homeowners can greatly reduce their utility bills to save money while producing clean, green
and local electricity for Aquidneck Island.

On October 26th, Solarize Aquidneck began signing up residents and business owners for the
program, which will be open for sign up through February 15th. The program works by
combining the power of group purchasing with federal and state incentives and a federal tax
credit. As a result, program participants can install solar systems at savings up to half the
market rate, with a typical system payback period of about six to seven years.

The Solarize Aquidneck team selected three solar installers for the Island through a competitive
bidding process, and assigned each installer the lead marketing role in one community. The
selected installers are Newport Solar for Newport, RGS Energy for Middletown, and Direct
Energy Solar for Portsmouth. Homeowners in any community may request a quote and choose
Aquidneck to work with any of the three installers; however they will only receive direct marketing
materials from the lead installer for their town.

Solarize Aquidneck is based on a model that has been successful in more than 100 communities
in Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut. It is designed to reduce the cost of solar, making it
a smart investment for homeowners and businesses. Solarize relies on four key components to
reduce installation costs: 1) competitive bidding among installers, 2) a tiered pricing system
which reduces costs for all as more people sign contracts, 3) a community-based marketing
approach which includes education and uniform pricing , 4) a finite program period to
encourage participation.

At the Solar 101 event on November 12th, residents will meet the selected installers and learn
about the group purchasing discounts, solar equipment options, financial incentives and
returns. Residents will have a chance to ask questions, and to sign up for free quotes on
installation. Light refreshments will be provided.

Similar workshops will be held in each of the three Island communities over the next several
months. Dates will be posted on AIPC’s website,
For more information about the Solarize Aquidneck program or to request a free quotation, call
the Aquidneck Island Planning Commission at 845-9299 or visit

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