Solar Austin May Happy Hour: Simplifying the Solar Marketplace with Technology

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

Referred to as the “Kayak of Solar,”  EnergySage helps homeowners, businesses and non-profits to easily and quickly request, review and compare competitive quotes for solar PV systems and financing options online.  By offering them choices and transparency into prices, product, and installer quality, EnergySage allows consumers to select the option that provides the best value for them.

This month, we will hear  from Vikram Aggarwal, the chief executive and founder of EnergySage, about how he and his team have used technology to simplify the process of researching and shopping for solar.

When: Tuesday, May 19th, 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM (program will start around 6:15 PM)
Where: Scholz Garten (1607 San Jacinto, Austin, TX 78701)

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Solar Austin Happy Hour: Celebration with Leslie Libby

Leslie LibbyLeslie Libby, Austin Energy’s Solar Energy Services Project Manager, retired on February 27 after 23 years of service. This month, Solar Austin will celebrate Leslie Libby’s contributions to Austin’s solar community and look back on her exciting solar career.

Leslie’s diverse experiences range from work on off-grid PV systems to creating the solar trailer powering sound at local events, to developing the Solar Rebate Program and the award winning Solar for Schools Program.

Leslie has truly been a solar champion for Austin.  Help us thank her.

Join us in the celebration!

When: Tuesday, April 21, 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM (program will start around 6:15 PM)
Where: Scholz Garten (1607 San Jacinto, Austin, TX 78701)

RSVP

Austin Solar Champion Retiring

Leslie LibbyLeslie Libby, Austin Energy’s Solar Energy Services Project Manager, is retiring after 23 years of service.  In 2003, she was assigned the task of developing a solar rebate program.  Leslie’s skills and desire to see solar flourish in Austin made her the perfect woman for this job.  Under her leadership, Austin Energy helped 2,100 participants install 8.7 megawatts of solar on their rooftops.

A study in 2012 found that Austin Energy had the lowest cost residential solar projects in the country.  This is thanks in no small part to the active solar market that Leslie helped to foster through the Austin Energy solar program.

Leslie has been a true champion for solar in Austin.

To recognize her years of service to the community Councilwoman Tovo will honor Leslie with the Distinguished Service Award tomorrow (Thursday, March 12).  The ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall.  Parking is free (with validation) in the garage under City Hall.

We hope you will attend to show your support and gratitude for all that Leslie has done to keep solar growing in Austin.

Solar Austin Happy Hour: Solar and Green Buildings

The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) is a national organization with the mission “to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life.” The USGBC provides green building educational programs and is the developer of LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, an internationally recognized green building certification program. Come hear from the local USGBC Central Texas – Balcones Chapter on how solar interacts with green building and within the USGBC.

SPEAKERS:

Reed Sternberg, Green Real Estate Agent, Co-Host of Shades of Green Radio, Board Member of the USGBC Central Texas-Balcones Chapter.

Scott Gerhardt, Chairman, Board of Directors USGBC Central Texas – Balcones Chapter

Come Join!

When: Tuesday, February 17, 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM (program will start around 6:15 PM)

Where: Scholz Garten (1607 San Jacinto, Austin, TX 78701)

RSVP

Solar Austin Happy Hour: Pedernales Electric Co-op

It’s a brand new year and the sun is still shining!  

Pedernales Electric Cooperative is the largest co-op in the country and serves many Austin-area residents as members.  PEC has been mapping out an impressive vision for expanding solar energy in their portfolio, with some exciting new activities underway.

Come hear from PEC solar leadership on their rationale for ramping up solar and their plans moving forward.   

Speakers:

Blake Beavers, Distributive and Renewable Energy ManagerBlake Beavers PEC

Peter Muhoro, Director of Energy Research and Strategy

Peter Muhoro

When: Tuesday, January 20, 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM (program will start around 6:15 PM)
Where: Scholz Garten (1607 San Jacinto, Austin, TX 78701)
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Please join us to welcome Blake and Peter to the Solar Austin Happy Hour stage!

Solarize Wells Branch

Solar fever is spreading in the Austin area!  A passionate group of solar supporters is working to bring more solar to Wells Branch.

Solarize Wells BranchIt all started with a solar fair on October 28.  A couple passionate Wells Branch residents put together a great event with speakers and tabling by local solar companies, Austin Energy and Oncor (Wells Branch is split between the Austin Energy and Oncor service areas).  About 200 people from the community showed up to learn more about solar.  As one of the speakers, I provided some basic information and introduced the solarize concept – where members of a community work together to get educated about solar and pool their buying power to contract for a discount with a solar company.

Now, an enthusiastic group of Wells Branch residents have created the Solarize Wells Branch group.  They’ve already put out a request for proposals from solar installations companies.  They’re working to get residents signed up to participate in the program.

If you live in Wells Branch or a nearby neighborhood, check out the Solarize Wells Branch flier and the Solarize Wells Branch website for lots more detailed info.  Enrolling will get you connected with the organizers, who will help get your questions answered.  Don’t worry though – this doesn’t in any way commit you to actually purchasing a solar installation.

UPDATED Solar Austin Happy Hour: Election night party and Generation Plan

Due to scheduling, we’re postponing the Pedernales Electric Cooperative presentation until January.  Join us this month for an end-of-2014 and Election Night celebration along with an update on the Austin Generation Plan.  We’ve done a lot this year and there is no doubt that 2015 will be a big one.  Come celebrate Austin’s solar progress with us and get a jump start on the challenges that lie ahead.
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When: Tuesday, December 16, 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Where: Scholz Garten (1607 San Jacinto, Austin, TX 78701)
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Please join us!
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Candidate Solar Scorecards

Early voting is under way and Election Day is almost here.  Do you know who you’re voting for at the city level?

If you need some help getting started, check out our candidate solar scorecards for the City Council district and mayoral races.

While Solar Austin isn’t endorsing any particular candidates, our scorecards will help you see which candidates are more or less supportive of several programs and goals.

If you already early voted, give yourself a pat on the back and remind your friends, family and co-workers to vote too.

Happy voting!

Solar Austin Happy Hour: Nonprofits Going Solar – PART 2

Solar energy isn’t just for homeowners and businesses, some of the wonderful nonprofits in Austin are seeing the benefits as well.  As an affordable energy option, solar can help keep costs low and allow nonprofits to spend their precious resources on other needs.
There has been a flurry of new projects in the nonprofit sector, broadening the reach of solar energy in Austin, so we’re doing another round of this popular program.  Come hear from some of the local nonprofit leaders who have embraced solar.
When: Tuesday, October 21, 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM (program will start around 6:15 PM)
Where: Scholz Garten (1607 San Jacinto, Austin, TX 78701)
BoyScouts photo smallSunRadio photo cropped small
Speakers will include:
  • Jon C. Yates, Boy Scouts of America – Capitol Area Council Scout Executive / CEO
  • Daryl O’Neal, Sun Radio – Founder and Volunteer
These civic-minded individuals will share information about their organizations’ recent solar projects, including why they did it, how they made it happen, and what their experiences have been.

Please join us to welcome Jon and Daryl to the Solar Austin Happy Hour stage!