If you were one of the 42 fortunate homeowners who contracted with SolarFlair last year through the Solarize Chelmsford program, by now you've started making your own electricity and paying your system off, and will likely start making a profit (not just paying nothing for electricity) in 5-10 years. If you were one of the 65 others whose homes were evaluated as "good" candidates, or one of the 100s that were interested but did not get a proposal... well, you may have another chance! No, we're not getting another bite at the apple as a town; that really was a one-time offer. However, the State is continuing the program with other towns, and soon with a non-profit that would allow anyone to participate.
Mass Energy is a non-profit that long has offered members a choice of purchasing electricity from renewable sources. Recently the MassCEC selected Mass Energy to participate in Mass Solar Connect. MassCEC is the agency behind Solarize Mass, and Mass Solar Connect is their similar group-purchasing program that has been started for non-profits. Phew, is that enough "Mass" names? If all goes as planned, Mass Energy will go through the same steps we did last year, selecting an installer in the spring and then starting sign-ups for assessments in about March. Their program would last 6 months just as ours did.
Like Solarize Chelmsford, this is a program for homes that have good solar potential, near south-facing and unshaded. It's likely that both of the typical financing options -- direct purchase, and PPA (or "free" or "lease") -- will be offered. Prices will obviously depend on the installer selected, but this group purchase model typically results in costs significantly below the statewide average, or for the "free" option sometimes a bonus to the homeowner for signing up. For that minority of residents who have the right house this is exciting news; stay tuned for updates!