Indiana Daily Student

Solar energy advocates push clean energy initiatives in Bloomington neighborhoods

Bloomington neighborhoods are taking advantage of solar energy through the combined efforts of two local groups, according to a press release from the City of Bloomington.

The Interfaith Community of Environmentalist Youth and the Solar Indiana Renewable Energy Network are joining forces to implement clean energy use across the Elms Heights and Bryan Park neighborhoods, according to the release. The initiative also has the backing of Mayor John Hamilton.

The effort, which is being called the “Solar Neighborhood” project, has a goal of finding 20 residents within the neighborhoods to install solar arrays within the same time frame.

Hamilton stated in the release his own family is “going solar,” and he said he hopes others will join them.

“Climate change is the most important issue facing this generation,” he said. “Employing readily available solar energy is a great way to reduce our carbon 
footprint.”

According to the release, ICEY’s vision is to turn the Elm Heights and Bryan Park neighborhoods into model solar neighborhoods for both Bloomington and the larger state.

SIREN, on the other hand, is more committed to educating the public about the practicalities of solar energy, according to the release. In addition to talking about the benefits of solar energy, the group spreads information about costs, loans and discounts.

“Prices to install it have dropped dramatically, and with the solar loans and group discounts this combined effort is able to offer, it will make sense for even more homeowners in our area to install solar arrays,” Hamilton said. “Ideally, I would like to see Bloomington as a leader in solar energy efforts in the Midwest.”

ICEY and SIREN will play host to two public forums to educate residents about solar energy and how they could make the switch in their own homes. The first forum, which took place Sunday, was full, but another forum will take place July 12.

Anicka Slachta

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