What are these talks of solarize programs and solar co-ops all about?
There has been a great deal of press in the Midwest surrounding communities creating solarize and solar co-op opportunities. But what does this mean for you?
What are these programs?
Both programs are locally-organized group-buying opportunities provided by a city, neighborhood, or organization where multiple homes and businesses go solar together as a group. In addition to getting a bulk discount, the group members benefit by learning about solar together and sharing the task of evaluating and selecting a solar installer. These programs have established periods of time for joining, so they are limited time offers.
Why are these programs forming?
Solarize and solar co-op programs can quickly deploy a large amount of solar, and make the process easier and more efficient for all parties. Organizations often offer this type of opportunity as an employee benefit. An important benefit of a group going solar all at one time is that everyone can learn together and share knowledge in addition to the discount.
What are the benefits of these programs?
- If you live in an area that has a solarize or solar co-op program already being offered, then you are in a position to not only take advantage of the 30% Federal Tax Credit, but you will also have the opportunity to purchase a solar array for your home or business at the group-negotiated discount rate. These rates vary by program, and some solarize opportunities present additional grants for eligible homeowners.
- Joining a solarize or solar co-op additionally allows you to rely on the expertise of your group in choosing a reliable solar installer. Working together with accountants, lawyers, engineers and construction experts in your community often helps members feel more confident about solar and selecting a reliable installation partner.
- Lastly, taking advantage of these opportunities while they are occurring dramatically increases the environmental benefits for the entire community in which you live or work.
There isn’t a solarize or solar co-op happening where I live or work. Should I wait to go solar?
The time to buy solar is now, even if you live in a community without one of these group-buying opportunities.
- The costs for solar have dropped significantly over the last decade, making solar an affordable energy solution in the Midwest.
- There is currently a 30% Federal Tax Credit being offered.
- Our clients dramatically lower their annual electric bills by 50-90%, keeping money in their pockets instead of sending it to their utility.
- You might consider organizing your own “group purchase”. Even having a few homes go solar together can lead to savings and efficiency (see below).
How can I start a solarize or solar co-op program for my community?
Third Sun Solar has experience working with neighbor groups, business and churches to offer group-buying opportunities to their employees and congregations. We can help walk you thru the process, and offer an incentive package where discounts are spelled out depending on how much solar gets installed. Working with a group saves us money and time, so it is an easy decision for us to turn this saved money into a discount.
Third Sun Solar has also been selected as a preferred installer for multiple community co-op and solarize programs; we would be happy to answer your questions about gathering a group together to go solar.