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Solarize Virginia installs its first solar panels in Hampton

The City of Hampton partnered with Virginia Energy Sense and the Local Energy Alliance Program to educate homeowners on the switch to solar power.

HAMPTON, Va. — Katrina Dash and her family had one goal in mind when they moved to Hampton last year: save energy. 

For them, that meant searching for a company to install solar panels.

“Something that’s really important to us is protecting the environment, and our house happens to be perfectly situated for it,” she said.

After months of searching, she said Solarize Virginia helped her find a company to install the solar panels and help cut costs on her bill.

“Our electric bill should go down to an estimated $20 to $30 a month,” Dash said.

Thursday morning, Convert Solar began installing the panels. Katie Vanlangen, the program director for Solarize Virginia, said they are there to make the process easier and affordable.

“Help walk them through the process, get them discounted rates from a local installer and really just be a helping hand to make the process less stressful,"  VanLangen said.

Since 2014, VanLangen said Solarize Virginia has helped 800 people get solar panels installed.

Virginia Energy Sense teamed up with the City of Hampton and Solarize Virginia through the Local Energy Alliance Program, bringing the organization’s first installation to Hampton. 

They also wanted to help residents make the switch to solar power without breaking the bank. as the federal residential solar energy credit is dropping from 26% to 22% at the end of the year.

“The upfront cost to solar to renewable energy can sometimes be the biggest barrier, which is why it’s important to remember there’s financing, there’s rebates and tax credit options to make switching to solar more affordable," said Ford Carson, a spokesperson for Virginia Energy Sense.

Dash hopes her transition to solar power will encourage other neighbors in Hampton.

 “In the last six months, I feel like I’ve seen more houses with solar panels," she said. "So hopefully, ours having that will have the same cascading effect.” 

Through June 30, homeowners and businesses can sign up to receive a free solar satellite assessment and gain access to discounted prices and vetted installers.

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