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League of Women Voters Announces Program on Household Solar and Co-Ops


While our "the Sunshine State" is ranked third in the nation for rooftop solar potential, it ranks only 14th for solar equipment installation. However, the ballot initiative approved by voters in August opened more doors for citizens to install their own solar energy equipment. The Sunshine State is now poised to grow "green" energy while saving homeowners money. To encourage this growth and make installation easier and cheaper, solar co-ops are now forming around the state.

On Monday, February 13, the League of Women Voters of Manatee County will present a public information program on the solar options. The following speakers will discuss the policies, opportunities, costs, finding a reputable dealer and how solar co-ops work: Mike Antheil of the Florida Solar Energy Industries Association and Mary Dipboye, of Florida Solar United Neighborhoods, who started the first solar cooperative in Florida. FLSUN (www.flsun.org) links customers with vendors in Florida communities and negotiates discounted prices. After their presentations, there will be questions and discussions with the audience.

"This segment of the energy industry is growing so rapidly in Florida that we felt it important for the public to learn more about it," said Rosalie Shaffer, president of the LWVMC. "Whether someone is going to contract with an installer themselves, or want to save money by joining a co-op, they need to have the facts." The speakers will also explain net metering, whereby the local power company reduces your electric bill by the amount of energy you produce with your own solar equipment.

The free event will be held at the Bradenton Woman's Club, 1705 Manatee Avenue West, from 12 noon to 1 pm. Reservations are not required. Doors will open at 11:30 am for lunch and social time ($5 donation for lunch). For more information call 941-729-9248.


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