‘Solarize’ house part of Montague green homes tour

MONTAGUE — This year’s regional Green Buildings Open House features three Montague homes, one showcasing work done through the Solarize Montague program.

The Solarize program is a state-backed alternative-energy initiative seeking to promote solar electricity in participating communities through a volunteer effort to bundle buyers for a single solar installer, lowering prices through bulk purchase and cutting advertising costs.

Sally Pick, a member of the Montague Energy Committee and Solarize Montague coordinator, said the program has so far garnered 18 signed contracts for the installer, NorthEast Solar Design.

Installation began at the end of September, and two are complete, Pick said, with work progressing on her own 25 Union St. home Tuesday.

Pick was among the first to sign on to the program, with the Board of Selectmen’s approval that doing so did not constitute a conflict of interest.

Pick has participated in and helped to organize the green open houses in past years, and hopes her 1856 home, with extensive building envelope work, solar hot water and solar electricity will demonstrate the possibilities for retrofitting historic homes.

“I feel really passionate about doing what I can as a homeowner to lessen my impact on climate change and one of the ways of leveraging what I do in my home to have a greater impact is to open it up to other people,” Pick said.

With the deadline to sign contracts Oct. 31, those signed so far put pricing for the solar program in the third of five discount tiers, lowering the base price 5 percent.

More information on Solarize is available online at SolarizeMass.com/Montague, or at the Ask Solarize sessions, the next to be held Oct. 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the Turners Falls safety complex.

The self-guided green building tours are sponsored by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association with hundreds participating across the Northeast, locally including Greenfield, Deerfield, Colrain, Wendell, Northfield, Whately, Ashfield and Warwick.

In Montague Center, Picks’ home will be open from 1 to 3 p.m., Cindy Tarail and Mark Lattanzi’s 24 Center St. home will be open 10 a.m. to noon for a look at a deep energy retrofit, and 6 Main St. will showcase a geothermal heating system and other improvements.

Pick notes her street may be being paved Saturday, and recommends parking near the post office on Main Street.

Go to energysage.com/projects/nesea-gboh to find tour sites, hours and to sign up for visits.

You can reach Chris Curtis at:
or 413-772-0261, ext. 257

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