New Bedford Solar Now Program Gaining Steam

November 15, 2012

First City Resident Signs Contract for Solar Installation

Louisville, CO (November 15, 2012) – In September, Frank Lima of New Bedford, MA became the first City resident to contract with Real Goods Solar for a solar electric installation through the New Bedford Solar Now Program. One of three innovative programs under the New Bedford Energy Now Program, New Bedford Solar Now is a partnership between community groups, local and trusted businesses, and City offices, designed to amplify the benefits of efficient buildings, clean energy and community development and create local jobs in the process.

The City of New Bedford has taken on the challenge of raising awareness about energy efficiency and is working at the community level to help residents see the benefits of weatherization, renewable energy, and changing personal resource use habits.

“The City of New Bedford has made a major commitment in recent years to changing how we think about energy — both from a consumption and sourcing standpoint,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell. “This is demonstrated in our installation of electric car charging stations, of hundreds of solar panels on municipal buildings, and our plan to install hundreds more. Still, we have a long way to go, and part of the vision is to greatly expand the number of residential solar installations in the city. This, along with energy efficiency retrofits, will be good for our residents’ financial health and for the health of the city and the planet. Add these efforts to our continued push to become the center of gravity for off-shore wind development, and we could once again become the City that Lights the World.”

At the core of the New Bedford Solar Now program is an outreach and education effort spearheaded by community partners, and developed in coordination with the City and Real Goods Solar. This same group also worked together to design an offer for a solar power installation that includes the ability for New Bedford residents to go solar for as little as $0 down and has the potential to save local homeowners thousands of dollars.

According to Mr. Lima, the opportunity to reduce his electric bills and have a positive impact on the environment was too good to pass up. “This program opens up an opportunity for me to make a difference to the environment and in my community. I have looked into renewable energy before but could never afford it. By fixing my electric rate for the next 20 years I won’t see my rates go up – who can say that today?” explained Mr. Lima.

“A solar lease offers homeowners the ability to fix their electric costs and protect themselves against future utility rate increases. There are no maintenance costs and the start-up costs can be as low as zero down,” explained Jim Oliva, New England Sales Manager for Real Goods Solar.

About New Bedford Energy Now

NB Energy NOW! is an umbrella program that integrates the solar and efficiency work in New Bedford. “NB Energy NOW,” is a City-wide initiative that brings together three specific programs – NB Efficiency Now (focused on buildings’ efficiency and weatherization), NB Solar Now (focused on residential solar), and the NB Challenge Now (to help residents be aware of all the carbon reduction opportunities, as also relates to diet, travel, etc.). NB Energy NOW coordinates marketing and organizing across organizations and initiatives, bringing together several partners including the City of New Bedford, non-profit partners, and business partners.

About Real Goods Solar

Real Goods Solar, formerly Alteris Renewables, is a leading solar energy integrator, having installed over 13,000 solar electric systems. We offer turnkey solutions, and have 34 years of experience in solar energy, beginning with the sale of the first retail solar photovoltaic panels in the U.S. in 1978. With offices in California, Colorado and the Northeast, Real Goods Solar is one of the largest residential solar installers in the country. For more information, visit, or call 888-56-SOLAR.