GILBERT, AZ--(Marketwire - February 16, 2010) - Gilbert residents are invited to attend Gilbert's first FREE Solar Town Hall Meeting on Monday, February 22nd at 6:30 pm at the Maricopa's Southeast Regional Library located at 775 North Greenfield Road at Guadalupe Road in Gilbert.

Mayor John Lewis will be hosting a Solar Panel Discussion featuring subject matter experts on energy efficiency, solar water heaters, solar power systems and utility rebate/federal/state tax credit programs that will help Gilbert residents pay for up to 75% of equipment and installation costs.

"The purpose of the Gilbert Solar Town Hall Meeting is to educate residents and businesses in Gilbert on the benefits of harnessing solar power and to teach them how to make smart solar purchase decisions," said Mayor Lewis. "As one of the fastest growing communities in America, we want to provide an example for other communities to follow by reducing energy consumption as much as possible and by harnessing our town's abundant supply of solar energy and harnessing it to heat water and produce clean electricity for free."

Each panel member will give a 10-minute power point presentation on how their system works and how much it will reduce residents' energy bills and will be followed by a question and answer session that will allow residents to ask questions.

"Residents are encouraged to bring a copy of their electric bill to the meeting where vendors will be on hand to provide free quotes on how much a solar system would cost for their household to Go Solar," said Tim Rinesmith, Gilbert Environmental Program Task Force Chair. "Residents that want to attend should RSVP "yes" to Helga Stafford at (480) 503-6767."

Most Arizona residents and businesses are not aware that utility companies such as APS and SRP provide hundreds of millions of dollars in rebates to customers that invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

APS provides a $3-per-watt rebate, while SRP provides a slight lower rate of $2.70-per-watt rebate. Arizona offers a $1,000 tax credit and the Federal Government offers a 30% tax credit/grant. Combined these incentives will pay up to 75% of a renewable energy project's total cost.

Saving money, reducing consumption and using renewable energy will enable every resident in Gilbert to save money on their monthly electricity bills. Utility rates rarely decrease and even with only a small 3% electricity rate increase every year, monthly electric bills will double by the year 2035.

The Gilbert Solar Town Hall Meeting will include an exhibitor area where solar companies can setup exhibit tables to showcase energy efficiency, solar hot water and solar power products and services.

If your city or town would like to conduct its own Solar Town Hall Meeting, please contact the Arizona Solar Power Society or visit the group's "Go Solar in Arizona" website at

Contact Information: Contacts: Robert Hoskins (602) 326-0940 Arizona Solar Power Society Tim Rinesmith (480) 229-7246 Gilbert Environmental Task Force