2016 Municipal Excellence Award: Snoqualmie

Solarize Snoqualmie was an effort to
incentivize households to install solar on their homes by basically informing
them of the average cost of solar how to do solar and also linking them under one
solar installer that then provides a discount to the group of people that
choose to install Solarize is a really low cost way to exponentially grow your
green in a city that we because we’re coming in and doing education campaign
and helping residents actually invest in solar it’s a great way to leverage a lot of
investment and help that spread locally Solarize campaign you know it starts with Northwest SEED
it then requires a community that wants to be engaged and to take on the
campaign you then need a qualified installation
partner and then you also need a community that has interest and this
campaign in particular working with Northwest SEED with the
city in the community all those ingredients were really
fulfilled and there was great participation and energy on all levels
that I think that’s when generate a lot of more stronger support from the staff
from the the council in general was that they
they didn’t experience anything very little to no push back in the
community at all and I think it’s the community heard more about again those
initial projects that were that we’d already done a lot of smart growth new
urbanism sort of planning principles and so forth for composting and things like
that the end and the other projects that were cost savers the more that the public in general
embraced and bought into the things that the council was doing they trusted the
council was doing things that were you know fiscally sound in as well as
environmentally sound and and gave them more latitude to do that so by the time
we got to the Solarize program or even building this beautiful building that’s a LEED-type design then it was strongly embraced by the community I think there’s a great
deal of community pride for the program like a Solarize program for our
area and Puget Sound Energy roughly thirty percent of the fuel mix comes
from coal so we have a lot of hydro in the area
that we do have greenhouse gas emissions whenever we turn on a light or use the
dishwasher so if we can get people to install solar that covers just a third
of their home energy usage you essentially then have a net zero energy
home so under that premise we achieved 44
installations between Snoqualmie and North Bend a neighboring city so that
means now 44 homes are essentially running coal free we were excited about the opportunity to
work with City of Snoqualmie it is the smallest of those campaigns
that we saw that as an opportunity to work with the community that hasn’t had
as much exposure to solar into these campaigns as that you know the Seattle
central region I think the biggest lesson is a lot of
people the reaction is so all these sorts of things or initiative initiatives to address climate change or
environmental are costly and or or sort of yeah not not fiscally prudent and I
think that’s a very misleading I think they can be very cost effective and
always smarter things to do for the environment to address you know one of the more serious issues
facing our generation but they can also save money and make a far more greener
cleaner sustainable community that both economically and environmentally

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