Renew DBQ Pilot Program Completes First Solar Installation
Dec. 15, 2022
The City of Dubuque’s Renew DBQ pilot program recently completed the first of 10 planned solar projects that will provide solar technology to low-to-moderate income (LMI) households in Dubuque.
The Renew DBQ pilot program provides households with low-to-moderate incomes who generally need assistance in overcoming the initial up-front cost of adding solar technology to their property with access to solar technology through a solar renewable energy certificate program.
“This program provides access to cost-saving solar energy that adds to property values and reduces energy costs for households in our community that need it most. However, when clean energy sources are more accessible and widely adopted, we all benefit from the economic growth and strides made in reaching the City’s 50% by 2030 greenhouse gas reduction goals,” said City of Dubuque Sustainability Coordinator Gina Bell.
Joan Wehrspann, the homeowner of the program’s first installation shared, “I see what is happening to our environment and with things going the way they are, we need to protect it and the solar program is a way to cut down our carbon footprint. I’m excited to participate and see what this is going to do. When I start saving money, I’ll be really excited.”
The project on Wehrspann’s home installed roof-mounted panels that will offset 51% of the annual electricity used by the residence. The instillation’s first year estimated savings is $1,048, with a 25-year projected savings of $39,550. Coupled with the monetary savings, the solar array will further offset 127.43 tons of carbon dioxide during its lifespan. This positive environmental impact is equivalent to reducing the consumption of 133,804 pounds of coal from being burned to produce the same amount of electricity. The carbon dioxide reduction is also equal to planting 3,201 trees necessary to capture the same amount of carbon within the local atmosphere.
Partners in the program include the City of Dubuque, Eagle Point Solar, Dubuque County Energy District, Van Meter Inc., and Crescent Electric.
“Partnering in this pilot program with our friends and neighbors was a simple decision and allows us an opportunity to give back to our community. It is our hope recipients of all 10 solar projects realize a significant savings each month in their electric bill and each system provides a monthly monetary cushion for decades to come,” stated Jim Pullen, president and CEO of Eagle Point Solar.
"Providing and advocating for equitable access to clean energy is a core principle of the Energy District. We strive to be a resource for all community members interested in learning more about renewable energy or how energy efficient improvements to their home or business can affect their bottom line. The Renew DBQ pilot program is poised to make a lasting impact with the qualifying residents,” said a spokesperson for the Dubuque County Energy District.
The City of Dubuque plans to continue the Renew DBQ program with available funding. For more information on eligibility and to apply, visit www.cityofdubuque.org/sustainability or call 563-690-6038.
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