Arlington, VA

In an effort to promote the use of energy-saving solar water heaters, Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment is launching a new initiative this fall. The group will organize volunteers to install solar water heaters for Arlington residents willing to shell out the cash to purchase the systems.

ACE is calling it their “Solar Raisers Program” — a take-off on Amish barn raisings. They’ve started recruiting members to volunteer on weekends for the day-long installations. They’re also looking for homeowners who are interested in the solar systems.

Homeowners who participate in the program will save $3,500 in labor costs, ACE says. They will still have to purchase the water heating system itself — which should cost about $2,300 after tax rebates. And they will have to provide food and drink to the volunteers.

“With the reduced labor costs, the system typically pays for itself in less than four years,” ACE noted in an email to supporters. “This compares to a seven to nine year period payback a full-priced installation.”

Arlington homeowners interested in participating (and anyone who wants to volunteer) should contact Dan Conant at conantd [at] gmail.com or 571-243-0745.

Conant says he’s received 15 applications from homeowners and has about 30 volunteers who have expressed interest in helping out.

Photo via Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment

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