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Solar power more accessible than ever

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By Katrina Margolis
Hometown Weekly Reporter

While it may seem like solar power has been around as a popularized form of energy for years, it is an incredibly new industry. In fact, many of the things homeowners believe about solar power are no longer true. The industry has been restructuring, reforming, and revolutionizing to make solar a truly viable option for those who wish to reduce their carbon footprint, as well as save money.

Level Solar gave a presentation at the Dover Public Library to show just how easy and accessible solar is. Level began in Long Island, but has since spread all across the Northeast.

Winston Vaughan, Director of New Market Outreach and Development, gave the presentation alongside Judy, a Community Programs Manager who focuses on city leaders and towns in Massachusetts.
“About 10 years ago, solar was only used by really rich Malibu folks who wanted to show off their wealth or people who wanted to live off the grid,” Vaughan said. “I remember thinking, ‘Hopefully we’ll get to the point where solar will be advertised on TV and be available at Home Depot,’ and 10 years later, it’s advertised on TV and available at Home Depot. There are a million houses that have gone solar, and it’s been really exciting to see that progression.”

The two explained the nuts and bolts of how solar works, but most excitingly explained how Level Solar specifically works. The old model of solar included an enormous upfront cost to install the panels, and then waiting to save money over a number of years. This model has changed. “We install solar panels at no cost to the homeowner. Those panels start generating clean, renewable energy,” Vaughan said. “And instead of people owning the system, they simply buy the electricity that the system provides at a price well below what their utility is charging now, about 20 percent in most cases.” This model allows for savings within the first month of having solar.

There are over 400 solar companies on the market, and Level encouraged those in attendance to shop around before making a commitment. Level’s model is available at a number of different companies, with minor changes. “Our goal is to take away the obstacles to having solar and to make it as much of a no-brainer as possible. People do this for all kinds of reasons,” Vaughan said. “A lot of people want to be able to look their grandkids in the eye and say they did their part, but also, there are a number of people who don’t care about the environment at all and just want to benefit from the savings.”

Regardless of the reason, solar is more accessible than ever.

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