If Westport homeowners ever considered installing solar energy, this is an ideal time to do it. But time is running very short on an opportunity to achieve significant savings.

Westport is one of four pilot communities which won state approval to participate in the SolarizeCT program, which could reduce the cost of installing a solar photovoltaic system by as much as 40 percent. This savings, together with a 30 percent federal tax credit, means homeowners could install a system for well less than half its actual cost, and reduce their electric bills to a fraction of what they're paying now.

To qualify for the rebate, you have to commit to the program by Jan. 14, but the system can be installed any time within six months of signing up. As an alternative to purchasing equipment, it may be leased with no out-of-pocket expenses and low a electric costs guaranteed for 20 years.

Both of us believe in the program and have signed up for solar installations, not only for the cost savings we will achieve but because we support the underlying agenda of using less commercial energy, which has a significant environmental impact.

To learn more, we suggest you call Encon, Westport's selected installation vendor, at 203-375-5228 or visit EnconSolar.com. If you'd like to see what a solar installation looks like, there will be a "Solar Raising" event on Saturday, Jan. 5, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1 Bushy Ridge Road. Food and warm refreshments will be served.

State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg

D-136th District

Ken Bernhard

Co-chairman, Connecticut League of Conservation Voters