Local initiative encourages solar panel use

Local initiative encourages solar panel use

 

If you're interested in going solar, now may be the time.

A local initiative is designed to encourage solar panel use by helping you save a little money at home.

Not many things in the world are free. The sun, however, is, which is why solar is promoted as a smart, sustainable investment.

"If you're in our home, you're going to be paying your electric bill for the next 30 to 40 years," Owner of Evoke Solar Wes Checkeye said.

Solarize Lehigh Valley is an initiative launched by the sustainable energy fund in Schnecksville in partnership with Evoke Solar in Hellertown. The initiative offers free solar assessments and discounted installation for customers.

"We felt that the penetration of solar in the Lehigh Valley could increase," said President of the Sustainable Energy Fund John Costlow.

"It essentially is a kick-starter to see more solar go in for the years following solarize," said Checkeye.

Solar power uses photovoltaic silicon panels which capture the sun's energy. The power can be used directly and overflow can be pushed back into the power grid for credits, which offsets your electric bill.

"I would say the average American home somebody is going to spend something between $15,000 and $27,000 to do solar and they might save $60,000 to $100,000 over the years," said Checkeye. "It gives people about an eight percent return on their money."

The federal government is also offering a 30 percent tax credit on total installation costs.

"But starting at the end of 2019, that solar investment tax credit starts to decline from the federal government," said Costlow.

The program has gotten a lot of traction.

"So far about 180 interested folks have reached out," said Checkeye. "Historically, solarize has closed about eight percent and I think we're gonna be right in track with that."

The program runs until Oct. 1. If you're interested, you can contact the Sustainable Energy Fund.

Shop Talk

What's new in the business community!

If you know of local business openings or closings, please notify us here.

·Toys R Awesome, a new retro store in the Village West Shopping Center, has opened on 3022 West Tilghman Street.

The Carbon Chamber & Economic Development Corp.  will welcome Panther Creek Pharmacy in Nesquehoning to Carbon County. The Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting Celebration will take place on Friday, Oct. 25 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the pharmacy at 74 W. Catawissa Street.

ShopRite will open a full-service supermarket on Friday, Nov. 1, with a 10 a.m. ribbon cutting at the ShopRite of Stroudsburg in the Stroud Mall. 

Foundational Health, a holistic wellness center, opened in Bethlehem at 1403 Center Street.  Foundational Health offers personalized nutritional coaching, weight loss plans, group coaching, infrared sauna with halo-therapy (salt therapy) and chromotherapy (color therapy).

Taco Bell to open at site of former Wind Gap Professional Center off Route 33 in Plainfield Township.

· Dr. Joseph Patruno named chief wellness officer of Lehigh Valley Health Network, to address and promote the well-being of healthcare professionals and caregivers at LVHN.

· Big Lots will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 12. It will celebrate the grand opening of five newly remodeled stores throughout the Allentown area.

· The Peppermint Stick Candy Store of Boyertown is opening a second location in the High Street Terminal on 300 E. High Street in Pottstown. The grand opening is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 11.

· Madona Antiques Gallery will open in about a month at 283 Fifth Street in Whitehall Township. It will sell antique English, French and American furniture and lighting.

· Mealey's Furniture going out of business and closing all stores

· Green Earth Marketplace to celebrate renovations and new ownership with a ribbon-cutting event on Saturday, Oct. 5 at 9:45 a.m. at 1328 Chestnut Street in Emmaus

· Lehigh Fine Foods to hold grand opening celebration Saturday, Oct. 5 from 12-2 p.m. at 1301 Chestnut Street in Emmaus

· Grand View Health announces 5-year, $210M expansion plan. The most significant investment is the construction of a 5-floor expansion next to the Sellersville hospital, which will include a new emergency department and more.

· Roosevelt's 21st in Bethlehem to close on September 28

· 1847 Financial Lehigh Valley is hosting an Open House Celebration in recognition of the grand opening of their new space in Allentown. The event will take place on Sept. 26 at 6 p.m. at 1550 Pond Road Suite 140 in Allentown.

· CBRE has arranged a lease for Venture X, a workspace community for entrepreneurs and businesses, at Gateway at Greenway Park in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. This will be Venture X’s first location in Pennsylvania. 

· A ribbon-cutting ceremony is set for You've Got Maids and The Gathering Place at 351 W. Broad Street in Quakertown on Sept. 26 at noon.

· Fischer's Tuxedo is celebrating 100 years in Quakertown. A ribbon-cutting on their next 100 years is set for Tuesday, Sept. 17 at noon.

· Multisport Fitness will host a grand opening celebration on Sept. 26 from 5-8 p.m. at the gym, located at 2016 South Delaware Drive in Upper Mount Bethel.

· The Vibe: Connect and Thrive fitness studio had a grand opening Sunday, Sept. 8 at 202 S. 3rd Street, Suite C, in Hamburg. 

· Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley has relocated to 2132 South 12th Street, Suite 401, in Allentown.

· LVHN ExpressCare to open in Lehighton on Sept. 3. The urgent care facility at 363 North First Street will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

· Dog grooming service to open along North Sixth Street in Allentown

· NY Gyro opened their second location at 129 E. Third Street in Bethlehem.

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