• Waterbury solar year rises Monday
     | March 08,2013

    WATERBURY — A Winooski Street residence that began using solar technology last year will receive a visit from the governor next week to help showcase local efforts toward energy efficiency.

    Waterbury Local Action Energy Partnership on Monday is recognizing its “Waterbury/Duxbury Solar Year,” a year in which the amount of solar energy generated doubled for both towns. Gov. Peter Shumlin will speak at the event.

    The residence is the home of the Rev. Peter Plagge, minister of the Waterbury Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, and his wife, Erin Mooney, a special education teacher at U-32.

    Plagge and his family had about a dozen solar panels installed on their roof last spring, and they have generated solar energy since September, he said.

    The home used Waterbury-based solar business SunCommon, so the family did not need up-front costs, Plagge said.

    “We’re thrilled that our work to educate Waterbury and Duxbury residents about solar and help connect them to local installers has paid off,” said Duncan McDougall, Waterbury LEAP board chairman, in a news release.

    Other speakers will include McDougall; Jessica Edgerly Walsh, lead organizer at SunCommon; state Rep. Rebecca Ellis, D-Waterbury; and Jamison Ervin, a Waterbury LEAP board member.

    The home is not off the grid yet, but eventually it will generate enough credit from Green Mountain Power that the family will just be making lease payments for the solar technology, Plagge said. The lease payment is equivalent to the home’s current GMP electricity bill, he said.

    The event will focus on the home’s solar monitoring system as well as other homes that have done similar installation in Waterbury and Duxbury.

    “The diversity of families and houses captured in this photo display really shows that solar is for everyone,” Ervin said in a news release.

    Ervin wrote in an email that if six more homes in Duxbury obtain solar installations, the town will have the highest number of residential solar setups installed per capita in the state.

    The organization’s “Solar Year” began in April, and the goal of doubling the amount of energy produced by solar was met this month, Ervin said.

    LEAP will conclude its “Solar Year” at its energy fair April 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Crossett Brook Middle School.

    david.taube @timesargus.com

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