If you’re thinking about going solar, here are two fantastic resources that give you information about the basics of solar energy, your solar options, and questions to ask a solar professional:
- Residential Consumer Guide to Solar Power by the Solar Energy Industries Association, and
- Homeowner’s Guide to Going Solar published by the U.S. Department of Energy, and
- Solar Financing
Policies and Processes
Solar energy uses a renewable energy source – the sun – and provides many benefits for individuals and the community. It improves environmental quality by reducing carbon emissions and air pollution, and in Virginia, the solar energy industry supports nearly 4,000 jobs and over 250 companies. Solar saves money on energy costs as the price continues to drop from increasing demand and technological developments, and improves electric grid resilience during peak demand and other stresses to the system. Check out more great information about solar's economy and employment impacts in Virginia.
Solar Maps and Potential
Investigate your property’s solar potential! According to Google’s Project Sunroof, it is estimated that 90% of the rooftops in Harrisonburg are viable for solar.
Financing, Incentives, and Tax Exemptions
Typically, solar installations are paid for through loans or cash, with Federal and State incentives available.
Exemption for properties using certified solar equipment, facilities, or devices in Harrisonburg can be found on the city code website.
Solar Rights and Procedure
Virginia’s solar easement law is similar to those in other states. The Virginia Solar Easements Act of 1978 allows property owners to create binding solar easements to protect and maintain proper access to sunlight. Here is a summary of Virginia law as it relates to solar rights, solar easements and local ordinances. You can also find information about the Virginia Solar Energy Equipment and Facilities Property Tax Exemptions.
Job Training and Educational Opportunities
If you are interested in pursuing employment in the solar energy field, here are some links to regional and national educational courses, programs, and/or training offered by colleges, universities, technical institutions, and non-profits.
- Licensing Requirements for Solar Installers in Virginia
- The Solar Foundation’s Solar Training Network (Career Connections, Education & Workforce Partnerships)
Harrisonburg Solar Projects
Current Solar Campaigns
- The City of Harrisonburg, VA occasionally partners with area non-profits to promote solar installation. Current active campaigns:
- Ready, Set, Solar! (June 2022 - December 2022) - https://www.solarunitedneighbors.org/shenandoah-valley-ready-set-solar/