News & Updates
Eliot, Maine: A Community Solar Success Story
Ampion Renewable Energy
June 05, 2023
One of Ampion’s partners was able to bring about some seriously impactful results through their fierce commitment to community and sustainability. This is a Community Solar success story of Ampion’s partnership with the town of Eliot, Maine. In just a few months, the town made huge strides in their commitment to sustainability, and raised thousands of dollars to benefit their community nonprofit.
Ampion’s partner program prioritizes the community in Community Solar. Businesses, schools, nonprofits and municipalities partner with Ampion to connect their communities to clean energy from local solar farms and provide them with electric bill savings. In turn, Ampion makes a donation to a cause for every new Community Solar subscriber who enrolls through the partnership.
The town of Eliot is a tight-knit community of less than 7,000 residents. Through the partnership with Ampion, we have enrolled 73 Eliot households in Community Solar! To date, the town of Eliot will collectively enable the generation of nearly 700,000 kWh of clean, renewable electricity produced locally in Maine. That’s like planting 5,000 trees, or taking 65 cars off of the road!
Eliot residents and businesses enrolled in Community Solar can feel proud of the impact they’ve made on the environment and their community. For every new Community Solar subscriber, Ampion made a donation to Eliot Connects, a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to fostering the health and wellbeing of Eliot citizens. As a new nonprofit organization that began in 2021, Eliot Connects was able to use the donations to get up and running and put its dreams in motion.
“This has really allowed us to open up our realm of opportunities of how we can support our community,” says Claudia Kaerner, a founding board member of Eliot Connects. “When we formed our nonprofit over a year ago, we didn’t even think this was going to be in our future for a while, so for that we are beyond grateful. This will allow us to make a greater impact in so many ways.”
Eliot Connects is a 501c3 mutual aid non-profit of community-minded members that support the well-being of Eliot and all its citizens by bringing together neighbors, collaborating with over 30 local community organizations, and creating new programs and initiatives to serve and connect its flourishing community. In a short period of time, Eliot Connects successfully organized programs for the community that benefit a wide range of local community organizations such as Spring & Winter CARE Kits, Give Warmth Event, Safe Summer Kickoff, Back to School Supply Drive, Footprints Food Program, October in the Pumpkin Patch, Farm Gleaning program and so much more. This past year, Eliot Connects was also able to contribute more than $9,000 to local community support programs at Footprints and York County Community Action (YCCAC), providing assistance to those in critical need of fuel, car repairs, emergency housing and other services. It’s all about making connections with neighbors, helping neighbors and giving a little extra help and love when needed!
The donations from Ampion are a “thank you” to our partners for enrolling in Community Solar and for spreading the benefits to their community. In this way, partnering with Ampion benefits people, communities and the causes they care about.
Each new Eliot Community Solar subscriber also received a $100 Visa gift card provided by Ampion! But this incentive is just an added bonus on top of the savings Eliot Community Solar subscribers receive on their electricity costs.
In Maine, residents and small business Community Solar subscribers receive up to 15% savings on their electricity costs! With energy costs expected to go up even more in 2023 (CMP supply rates will be going up 49%), these savings couldn’t come at a better time for Eliot.
Much of the success of this partnership can be attributed to the multiple points of communication. Ampion sent a series of direct mail pieces to Eliot residents and businesses, educating them about the partnership and Community Solar. Ampion provided content for Eliot Connects to share with their members and supporters via email and social media, which drove even more Eliot Community Solar sign-ups.
Mike Sullivan, Eliot’s Town Manager, fully supported the town’s partnership with Ampion from the beginning.
“We’re excited to partner with Ampion to offer this opportunity to support clean, renewable energy at no additional cost!” said Mike. “The Town of Eliot wholeheartedly supports this initiative and we strongly encourage you to sign up. Through Maine’s Community Solar program, you make your home or business more sustainable by helping to generate clean energy from a local solar farm, and even save up to 15% on your electric bills.”
To help get the news out to even more people, Ampion provided a press release that formally announced the town partnership and tied in the benefits of solar energy to Earth Month. The press release was published on the front page of Eliot’s town newspaper, The Weekly Sentinel, in April 2022.
By July 2022, 50 Eliot residents had signed up for Community Solar, and the town of Eliot had raised $5,000 for Eliot Connects! Katie Rooney, Ampion’s Community Partnerships Executive, met with Mike Sullivan and some members of Eliot Connects to present the big check. (Read more on WGME!)
The Town of Eliot’s success is an example of how one small community can make a real difference. Are you interested in connecting your town, business, school or nonprofit to Community Solar? Let’s connect! Learn more about our partner program and get in touch with an Ampion team member here.