U.S. Virgin Islands push to make solar more affordable

Solarize St. John has launched an initiative to offer lower solar energy costs for all residents of St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.

The initiative will allow all residents to use clean and renewable energy, and provide discounts to families who cannot pay the upfront costs of installing new solar energy systems. With an initial donation of  USD 100 000, the initiative will first receive capital through crowdfunding and has a current goal of USD 350 000.

“While the cost of electricity on St. John can be four times higher than in the U.S., St. Johnians use half as much energy as the average American. Therefore, a small solar energy system can have a major impact on electricity burden,” says the Solarize St. John website. 

The company estimates that homeowners could offset their investment as soon as two years after they take advantage of the current grants and discounts.

Another local organisation, the St. John Community Foundation, has started a fundraiser to install solar energy to clients of its Disaster Case Management Team.

“We have well over one hundred cases in our home repair program, and we know there are several candidates for solar energy,” said Celia Kalousek, Executive Director of the St. John Community Foundation. “We’re going to start with assistance in providing solar hot water systems as a way to introduce residents to the idea of solarization,” she added.