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Nonprofit program educates valley residents on going solar

Solar United Neighbors

A new program in the Shenandoah Valley educates homeowners interested in going solar. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

Solar United Neighbors is a nonprofit that works with rooftop solar owners in 12 different states and Puerto Rico.

Aaron Sutch is the organization's Atlantic Southeast regional director.
Solar United Neighbors
Aaron Sutch is the organization's Atlantic Southeast regional director.

AARON SUTCH: So we help people adopt solar … but we also help them join together and advocate for fair policy as well.

Aaron Sutch is their Atlantic Southeast regional director. The new program coming to the valley is called Ready, Set, Solar!, and it's essentially an eight-week, asynchronous course –

SUTCH: That helps people get the tools that they need to make an informed decision with solar. So, solar's a big-ticket item, right? Kind of like a car, you'd want to be informed about what you're purchasing … how does it work? What happens if I make more energy than I use? What should I be looking for in a proposal?

Program participants will have their roofs screened via satellite image to make sure they're a good fit for solar. Then, they'll be sent informational materials over email, and the organization has a helpdesk with staff on hand to guide you through whatever questions you may have.

If you'd like to learn more about the program, they're hosting two informational sessions: one virtual, on June 15th at 12 p.m., and one at the Massanutten Regional Library in Harrisonburg, on July 11th at 6 p.m.

Randi B. Hagi first joined the WMRA team in 2019 as a freelance reporter. Her writing and photography have been featured in The Harrisonburg Citizen, where she previously served as the assistant editor; as well as The Mennonite; Mennonite World Review; and Eastern Mennonite University's Crossroads magazine.