As part of our commitment to protecting the environment, the City of Falls Church became an EPA Green Power Partner in 2012 (read the Green Power Resolution here). This means that a certain proportion of the power we use in general government facilities and streetlights (currently a minimum of 25%) has been generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, low-impact biomass, and low-impact small hydroelectric sources. The Falls Church community followed suit in 2013, becoming the first EPA Green Power Community in the Commonwealth of Virginia. More than 3% of the power used in our community is renewable energy or "green power".
Some community members choose to generate renewable energy themselves by installing solar systems on their property. Purchasing and installing solar panels requires careful planning, but there are local programs to help make it easier.
The 2023 program is now open and runs through the end of August. The program is managed by the Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP) and provides a streamlined process, including a competitive installer bidding process and ongoing customer support. After signing up, residents can expect a rooftop solar assessment, introduction to a vetted installer, an on-site inspection, and a custom proposal to go solar. There is no requirement to move forward with installation until after a contract is signed.
The 2023 solar co-op program, called Capital Area Solar Switch and managed by Solar United Neighbors, is now open to all City of Falls Church residents. Through the co-op, you can receive a discount offer for a rooftop solar install by a local vendor, have access to customer service support, and get help and resources to add electric vehicle chargers or battery storage systems to your home. After receiving a personal recommendation on the website, homeowners will need to pay a refundable $150 deposit if they are still interested and wish to begin working with the selected vendor. If the homeowner decides not to move forward, this deposit is refundable at any point prior to confirming a final agreement with the installer.
Signing up for the co-op provides you with an installation offer and does not require you to go forward with a solar install or contract. Registration for the current round of the Capital Area Solar Switch is open until August 30, 2023.
The City is providing the above for informational purposes only. If a resident wants to join a co-op program, it is their responsibility to understand the risks of joining such a program. Furthermore, the City is not in any partnership with the above entities but rather is providing the information for residents to review if they are interested. If there are any issues related to the installation of the solar system, the resident is responsible for contacting the contractor or solar company to discuss issue resolution. Finally, if a resident decides to sign-up for a co-op program, the resident understands that the City bears no responsibility for any damage of any kind.
Please Note: this is not a comprehensive list of rooftop solar options available to City of Falls Church residents and should only be used as a resource to examine pathways to go solar. It is up to individual residents to review all options available to them, including working directly with a solar installation company.