Solar panels on the roof of a home, in Lafayette, Calif. (Jim Wilson/New York Times file photo)

Amherst officials want to see more solar panels on rooftops across the town.

The town has launched a "solarize campaign" to provide residents and businesses with more affordable solar energy and solar panels.

"This model helps customers choose a solar installation company and offers competitive, transparent pricing," said Supervisor Barry A. Weinstein. "Historically, solarize campaigns lower the cost of solar from 10 to 20 percent."

The Town Board has authorized a request for proposals from solar installers. Installers selected will be matched with customers who agree to have solar panels installed, Weinstein said. Those customers would be eligible for lower group rates.

"Residents and businesses that sign up for solar installation by a specific date will be able to take advantage of group rates below market prices," he said.

The solarize campaign is one of 10 actions for the town to become a Clean Energy Community, a state program to save on energy costs sponsored by the state Energy Research and Development Authority.

Amherst is seeking to complete four of the 10 projects to be eligible for grant money. The Town Board also created a Clean Energy Communities Committee to oversee those efforts. The town would receive technical support from the University at Buffalo's Regional Institute to undertake the program.

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