“Solarize” programs are popping up across the country — making it easier and cheaper for homeowners to install solar panels.

In Carborro North Carolina, that means free home assessments, tax breaks, and group discounts. Environmental scientist and resident Rob Pinder launched the program locally.

PINDER: “I think that we’ve seen in recent years the impacts of climate change on many communities in the U.S., and it’s happening now. So I think that we need to start taking action now, that the time to wait has passed.”

Homeowners have many financial reasons to install solar — lower energy costs, tax credits, and increased property values. But money is not the only reason that residents like Janet Whitesides are getting involved…

WHITESIDES: I’m trying to role-model for my daughter. I think that by taking small steps we can get to a better place that’s more environmentally friendly.”

And while Pinder has long been trying to reduce his own carbon emissions, he now feels a similar urgency.

PINDER: “Now that I have a daughter it’s a lot more tangible; I can kind of see from her eyes what it really means to look 50 years into the future.”

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.

More Resources
Neighbors Helping Neighbors to Pay Costs for Solar, by Sara Peach, Yale Climate Connections, June 19, 2014.
Solarize Portland
Solarize Carrboro initiative aims to bring solar panels to Carrboro homes
Solarize Carrboro
Solar Energy Industries Association

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Sara Peach

Sara Peach is the editor-in-chief of Yale Climate Connections. She is an environmental journalist whose work has appeared in National Geographic, Scientific American, Environmental Health News, Grist,...