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What is Susie Hulet Community Solar?

What is Susie Hulet Community Solar?

The Susie Hulet Community Solar Program is being brought to Weber, Davis and Morgan counties by Weber State University’s new Sustainability Practices and Research Center. WSU is an institution with over 25,000 students that is committed to sustainability in both the realms of education and practice. It became an American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment signatory in 2007 which led to the creation of the school’s Climate Action Plan that details steps for becoming carbon neutral by 2050. Since 2007, through energy efficiency and conservation, WSU has cut its electricity consumption by over 25 percent. The use of renewable energy, particularly solar and geothermal, is a significant part of that plan and Weber State has a number of solar installations on its campuses.

The center’s focus is to further and facilitate WSU’s aims of sustainability education, research, and very importantly, practice, both on and off campus. The Susie Hulet Community Solar Program is the Center's first big initiative in the third realm of practice. The ultimate goal is to increase the use of renewable, clean solar energy in this region, both now and going forward, resulting in more solar panels on more houses. It is also to raise awareness of the benefits of renewable energy, both from an economic and environmental standpoint. We are a state that has a heavy reliance on fossil-fuel based electricity generation, but we also have vast renewable energy resources, especially solar power, that place a far less heavy burden on the physical environment and human health in terms of impact.

The practice of generating renewable solar energy through the use of photovoltaic panels is something that is relatively simple to do and this program makes it even easier. While the costs for solar power have dropped dramatically in the last few years, the upfront cost of solar can still be a barrier. However, as more and more people make use of this technology, demand can further reduce cost and also make the use of renewable energy more commonplace. The change in culture and in what is normal is critical on the long road toward more sustainable lifestyles. One of the best predictors of whether someone will add solar power to their homes is whether or not others in their neighborhood have solar panels. Thus, getting more people to participate in these sorts of programs is vital. It is good for the individual homeowner and for the bigger picture of improving our overall energy profile as a society.

This program presents homeowners with one of the best opportunities to tangibly reduce the impact of their lifestyles on the natural world. Investigate going solar in 2015! Sign up for a community workshop to see if solar is right for you.

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