Eight smiling islanders

The Solar Initiative announces awards for EV subsidies
Thu, 11/19/2020 - 6:15pm

More solar-sourced energy; less fossil fuel emissions. That is the goal of Block Island’s Solar Initiative.

Towards that end, the Solar Initiative (tSi) has recently awarded eight subsidies toward the purchase of an electrically-powered vehicle to island families. The subsidies run over three years and can total up to $10,800. Some conditions do apply: the vehicle is to be used mainly on Block Island, the awardees must be yearround island residents, awardees must be in a position to and agree to help publicize EV usage, and the EV itself must be “plugin-able.” Note: economic factors were not a criterion in the selection process. All additional vehicle costs above the subsidy are to be borne by the recipient.

When these subsidies were first announced, the response was measured, but then as the word spread it became a groundswell. The original grant for four vehicles was deemed inadequate to the demand and the funding source agreed to raise the number to eight subsidies. In the end, 14 applications were received and so over half were awarded a subsidy. The others will be placed on a waiting list should any of the original eight be unable to complete the purchase process. The subsidies were awarded by a committee of three prominent island citizens, who shaped the awards process according to the grant delivered through the Rhode Island Foundation.

And the award recipients are — drum roll, please — Kristin Baumann, Kim Gaffett, David Kane, Millie McGinnes, Steve Miller, Jill Seppa, Kara Stinnett, and Linda Wright.

The Solar Initiative (tSi) started out offering subsidies on roof mounted solar systems to islanders. About 30 homes have taken advantage of these subsidies. Currently, tSi is offering a $800 per KW discount on installations. The Federal Tax Credit is due to drop from 26 percent to 22 percent on Jan. 1. Some folks may want to act now. Maybe even you!

Additionally, tSi is offering subsidies up to $6,000 per island homeowner on heat pump installations. This has proved to be exceedingly popular, so that demand is currently outpacing delivery!

All tSi programs run through Dec. 31, 2020. Extended or amended programs are in the works for 2021, but not specified as of this writing.

For more information, please contact Tony Pappas, tSi Director, at (508) 272- 8822.