Two more opportunities to learn about solar energy

September 10, 2018 | by Erin Sirianni

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Chinese environmentalist Ma Jun stated that “environmental issues cannot be addressed without extensive public participation, but people need to be informed before they can get involved.” Let’s learn and join together to create a more sustainable Mercer Island toward a healthier planet.

The City of Mercer Island is hosting two more opportunities, through its Solarize Mercer Island campaign, to educate community members on how solar energy works, which sites are most suitable, and what financial incentives are available to help bring costs down.

Solarize Mercer Island is an innovative group purchase program that helps residents and businesses tap into more affordable solar energy. Building on the success of the previous solar campaign in 2014, which led to almost 50 new installations, the City is partnering with the citizens’ group Sustainable Mercer Island and the local non-profit Spark Northwest to work with a community-selected, qualified solar installer.

For residents who have been contemplating rooftop solar, or for those who missed out last time, now is the time to act:

  • Solar is more cost-effective than ever before
  • Qualify for 30% federal tax rebate (until Dec 2019)
  • Receive a time-limited, group purchasing discount
  • Generous WA state incentives are expiring soon!

The first step is to attend a free workshop to learn more and qualify for a FREE site assessment of your roof’s potential.  Workshop dates are as follows:

  • Saturday, Sept 15th – 10:00 – 11:30 am, Islander Middle School
  • Tuesday, October 9th – 6:00 – 7:30 pm, Congregational Church on Mercer Island

Workshop registration is handled at this partner website.
In January 2018, the City of Mercer Island received national SolSmart Gold designation for meeting stringent and objective criteria targeting removal of obstacles to solar development and indicating that it is “open for solar business.”  Gold status in particular indicates a lack of procedural obstacles such as long permitting waiting times or burdensome zoning regulations.

Mercer Island has a greenhouse gas (GHG) target of 80% reduction by 2050, and renewable energy is an important part of the suite of community actions that can help reach that goal. Most standard residential solar installations do not need a building permit, just a simple electrical permit which takes a few minutes to receive in person at City Hall.

For more information, or to read more about the City’s range of solar programs visit, or Email Ross Freeman, Sustainability Manager.