The Crestone Eagle • August, 2020

CBR Solarize PV installations available now in Crestone Baca

by Kate Steichen

On Sunday afternoon, July 12, our (Crestone Baca Resiliency) CBR Solarize team launched CBR Solarize over zoom.  Twenty-seven Crestone Baca community residents participated in the launch, and many have already registered with one of our two certified, local PV solar installers.  CBR Solarize is a huge step toward fulfilling our community vision of becoming 100% solar powered.  It makes the process of installing or adding to your existing PV solar easy, safe, and more affordable.  This program with its associated discount is time-limited.  Property owners must sign a contract by Sept. 30, 2020.

The benefits of CBR Solarize are many, including the opportunity to contract at a discount with one of our thoroughly-vetted PV solar installers, Laura Conchelos of Monte Vista or Curtis Scheib of Salida.  Their 2020 installations will be inspected by SEI’s technicians.  The program also includes financial benefits, including an installer discount based on the volume of total installations, and a Federal Tax rebate of 26% in 2020.  We are also working with the CO Energy Office’s RENU program, which has an agreement with Elevations Credit Union to provide loans for solar installations throughout the state.  Aventa Credit Union has also agreed to provide unsecured loans up to $10,000.

Supported by a generous grant from our Saguache County Commissioners, as well as coaching from Solar Energy International (SEI)’s Solar Forward program staff, our CBR Solarize team has worked hard since being selected by SEI in January 2020 for this program. 

Earlier this year our team designed and distributed a community-wide survey to determine the current interest in installing or adding PV solar to individual homes and small businesses.  Over 90 locals filled out the survey, with 65 interested in obtaining either a new solar installation or expanding their current system.  With such an encouraging response, our CBR Solarize team decided to go ahead with this offering, even during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Our CBR Solarize team includes Kate Steichen, CBR Chair; Janet Woodman, CBR Energy Group Team Coordinator; Karen Caddis, Assistant Coordinator; Cliff Rodriguez, IT Specialist; Christopher Morrissette, Technical Specialist; and Mary Marshall, SEI Technical Consultant.  For more information and to register, please visit our website,, or email