Last week more than 60 people attended an event at South Portland High School to learn about the advantages of heating their homes and generating their own electricity using solar power.

The event, sponsored by the group Protect South Portland, featured Suzan Elichaa of Solaris, who fielded questions about heat pumps and solar panels, from installation to function and life expectancy.

The talk included financing, as well. The focus was on the very real savings that can accrue to people banding together as a group to purchase both panels and pumps.

Solaris offers discounts at various levels up to $350, depending on the size of the group. Additionally, there are rebates available through the state, which considerably lessens the purchase and installation costs, making solar heat and power affordable to individual homeowners.

Almost everyone in attendance filled out preliminary forms to start the process of individual home assessments by Solaris. People interested in joining the burgeoning local group signing on to solar power and heat, can still get on board. Contact Cathy Chapman at 767-1118.

Many of those in attendance at a solar energy event in South Portland have signed up to receive more information about heating and powering their homes. Photo by Karen Silverman

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