Rooftop solar sparks interest in clean energy at Yale

July 7, 2015

Yale’s commitment to a clean energy future is beginning to show as nearly 160 employees sign up to receive quotes for rooftop solar photovoltaic systems on their homes.

This effort stems from President Salovey’s six sustainability initiatives, announced August 2014, which also include investment in on-campus energy efficiency and student ventures in the field of sustainability, as well as a pilot project to price Yale’s carbon dioxide emissions. “Extended use of photovoltaic technology will further expand Yale’s collective low-carbon portfolio,” wrote President Salovey in a letter to the Yale community.

Yale is promoting renewable energy deployment beyond its borders through a partnership with the State of Connecticut that encourages faculty and staff to purchase solar for their homes through a program known as Solarize U. Since the program’s launch in March, 159 employees have signed up to receive quotes for rooftop systems.

A combined 43.73 kilowatts are under contract to date as a result of Solarize U, with an average system size of 8.75 kilowatts. The largest system so far is nearly 12 kilowatts – large enough to power one-and-a-half average sized Connecticut homes.

New Haven has the largest number of signups with close to 35. Hamden, Guilford, North Haven, and Woodbridge are next in line, averaging nearly 10 signups per town.

Paul Cleary, Dean of the School of Public Health, has already commissioned a solar array larger than 10 kilowatts for his home in Branford.

“I was excited to hear about this program when President Salovey announced it last fall,” said Cleary. “I want to play my part in our sustainability efforts and encourage others to reduce their carbon footprint. Individual behaviors and commitments such as going solar will help us address the health risks and other issues posed by climate change.”  

The 122 others that joined Dean Cleary have a range of motivations from cost savings to energy security.

Overall, Yale’s participation numbers were strong, according to SmartPower, with nearly 40% more properties registered with the program than the Connecticut colleges with the next highest enrollment.

“Given the program’s success in its first year, we hope to offer this ‘green’ benefit to Yale employees again in the future,” said Brenda Naegel, Associate Director of Human Resources Communications and one of the driving forces behind Solarize U’s partnership with Yale.

The deadline to participate in Solarize U has been extended to August 31, and we hope you will join Yale in sparking interest and investment in a cleaner, more reliable and affordable energy future.

Interested in solar? You can still participate in Solarize U by signing up through Energy Sage.

To learn more about energy and greenhouse gas emissions at Yale, check out our website.