The Solar Way
How Decatur’s energy landscape is changing
NOTICED ANY OF YOUR neighborhood’s roofs looking especially high tech lately? Solarize Decatur-Dekalb, a campaign to bring Decatur closer to 100% clean energy,has returned for a second effort. Solarize 2.0 builds upon the first campaign’s success, now with lower material and installation costs, more clean energy technologies available and a new policy landscape.
“There has never been a better time for Georgians to go solar,” said Josh Williams, President and CEO of Summit Solar, the selected contractor for the campaign.
Solarize Decatur-Dekalb first launched in 2016. Through its residential program, nearly 1.5 million pounds of carbon emissions have been prevented. The campaign is comprised of public and private entities including the Decatur Environmental Sustainability Board (ESB), Environment Georgia, Georgia Interfaith Power & Light, Solar CrowdSource and many individual advocates of local, clean energy.
Currently, more than 150 Decatur residents have utilized the campaign to have their homes retrofitted with solar arrays. Solarize offers the savings of group purchasing, the more homes and businesses that sign up for solar, the less it costs.
Solarize is the first 1MW solar program in Georgia, which means it has created more than one megawatt of energy (nearly 200 homes can be fully powered by one megawatt of solar energy).
In addition to bringing down energy blls and diversifying Decatur’s energy options, Solarize has partnered with the MLK Jr. Service Project
to install solar arrays for Decatur seniors to reduce their electricity bills and protect homeowners from utility rate spikes.
“We recognize the impacts of climate change affect low-income and Black and Brown communities disprop tionately,” said Michael Black, chair of the Decatur ESB. “These efforts are part of our continued efforts to help the City of Decatur and Dekalb County work towards environmental justice by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. The Solarize campaign partnership with MLK Jr. Service Project amplifies the benefits of weatherization to make a more just transition to clean energy.”
As a part of the city’s 10-year strategic plan, Decatur is working to further address energy burden inequality, expand local renewable
energy production and prepare for emerging technologies by minimizing regulation obstacles.
Decatur’s energy landscape is changing. The Decatur government is currently working alongside the Southface Institute to create the city’s first Clean Energy Plan to progress to a more affordable and sustainable energy system for all Decatur residents. Solarize campaigns are found across the state including in Athens and Savannah.
Follow along the campaigns at solarcrowdsource.com.