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BPS News: New Solarize project will help northeast Portland homeowners go solar through volume purchasing



24 January 2012


Christine Llobregat
Bureau of Planning and Sustainability


New Solarize project will help northeast Portland homeowners go solar through volume purchasing

Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, Solar Oregon, Umpqua Bank and Energy Trust of Oregon collaborate to launch Solarize Northeast

Ever thought about installing solar energy on your home, but didn’t know where to start?  Portland homeowners in NE Portland looking to control their energy costs by using solar electricity have a helping hand to guide them through the steps of a home installation. Solarize Northeast, a community-driven project of Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods (NECN), is launching its second solar electric installation campaign this month that runs through May 15.

“With this second round, NECN aims to demystify solar energy for our residents and provide a simple and affordable solution for homeowners to install solar panels on their homes,” explains Paige Coleman, Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods’ executive director. “We are pleased to be working with our partners to provide the latest information, technology and incentives to our residents.”

Registration for the program is open now through May 15. With the support of Mr. Sun Solar, Solarize Northeast is offering an Early Bird Discount for people who sign contracts before February 29.

Free workshops makes going solar easy and affordable

Solarize Portland neighborhood projects are designed to simplify the process of going solar and bring cost reductions through volume purchasing. Free informative workshops make the process easy to understand by covering topics such as the size of system to purchase, budgeting and financing, and how to get started. Come to the next workshop and meet the people who can help you determine the next steps.

View the schedule of free workshops in Northeast Portland:

Solarize Northeast is a project involving project partners, volunteers, board members and staff of NECN. Project Manager Gene Lee organized a volunteer committee that vetted contractor proposals and made recommendations to the NECN Board. The NECN Board unanimously approved the selection of Mr. Sun Solar, a local Northeast contractor. Portland-area contractor Mr. Sun Solar has been an industry pioneer Portland area contractor installing solar for over thirty years.

The City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and the nonprofit organizations Solar Oregon and Energy Trust of Oregon are working together to support other campaigns around the city and the State of Oregon, and can help any Portland neighborhood associations or groups interested in operating Solarize projects. The City of Portland provides strategic assistance and coordination; Solar Oregon provides database and workshop delivery services, and Energy Trust provides cash incentives to help lower the upfront cost of the solar electric systems.

“I know it’s hard to imagine now in the depth of winter, but summer sunshine is just around the corner, and solar is a viable option for many homeowners in Portland to realize long-term energy savings,” says Susan Anderson, director, City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. “Now’s the time for northeast Portland neighbors to again take advantage of the guidance and incentives offered by Solarize NE.” 

Umpqua Bank is providing financing through their Green Street loan program and offering assistance to the campaign with outreach services and hosting workshops in the Bank’s Alberta Street store.

“Solarize is a smart way to engage our community,” says Robert W. Cross, store manager, Umpqua Bank Alberta and President Elect of Solar Oregon. “It makes good economic sense for homeowners to pursue solar energy with the abundance of resources out there.”

Portlanders are sweet on solar energy

With over 10 megawatts (MW) of solar power installed across the city (enough energy to power almost 800 homes) — Portlanders have helped prevent 4,000 metric tons of carbon emissions. The growth of the local residential market has experienced a 400 percent increase in the rate of installations from 2008 to 2012.

For more information about the history of the Solarize programs, visit

About Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods, Inc.

Founded in 1975, the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods, Inc (NECN), an independent 501c3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to the livability of our inner North and Northeast Portland neighborhoods, fosters local leadership, strong issue advocacy and community initiatives by its residents, businesses and neighborhood associations. It serves as one of the seven district coalitions supporting the Portland Neighborhood System., Contact: Paige Coleman, executive director, 503-823-3151

About Solar Oregon

Founded in 1979, Solar Oregon is a 501(c)(3) non-profit.  Supported by its member organizations and individuals, Solar Oregon provides outreach and education on solar technology and its applications, methods for improving energy efficiency, and ideas for building a carbon-neutral future.

About Energy Trust of Oregon

Energy Trust of Oregon is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping utility customers benefit from saving energy and tapping renewable resources. Our services, cash incentives and energy solutions have helped participating customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas save nearly $800 million on energy bills. Our work helps keep energy costs as low as possible, creates jobs and builds a sustainable energy future. Learn more at or call 1-866-368-7878.  

About Umpqua Bank

Umpqua Bank, headquartered in Roseburg, Ore., is a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:UMPQ) with locations between San Francisco and Seattle, along the Oregon and Northern California Coast, and in Central Oregon and Northern Nevada.  Umpqua Bank’s GreenStreet Lending affords finance options for homeowners and small businesses to complete energy-efficient and renewable project upgrades.


About the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS)

To create and enhance a vibrant city, BPS combines the disciplines of planning and sustainability to advance Portland's diverse and distinct neighborhoods, promote a prosperous and low-carbon economy, and help ensure that people and the natural environment are healthy and integrated into the cityscape. BPS provides a forum for community engagement and education, and is a catalyst for action. With a city full of partners, BPS develops creative and practical solutions on issues as far ranging as comprehensive, neighborhood and environmental planning, urban design, waste reduction and recycling, energy efficiency and solar technologies. This innovative, interdisciplinary approach strengthens Portland's position as an international model of sustainable development practices and commerce. For more information, go to