What Is 'Solarize'?: Save on Solar Power with Community Bulk Ordering


| 8/21/2015 9:48:00 AM


Tags: community solar, solar installation, community action, solar power, Vikram Aggarwal, Massachusetts,

You’ve probably seen yard signs for Solarize campaigns around your neighborhood. But what exactly does it mean to solarize? Is it really a new verb? Here we’ll explain the basics of a Solarize program, plus what the pros and cons are for your community.

What is Solarize? Community Solar? Group Solar?

Solarize programs can go by a variety of names; all are in essence a means by which groups of buyers can secure a lower price for solar installations through bulk ordering. A municipality, employer or other local organization chooses one company in the area to serve as the solar installer for their community’s Solarize program. Due to volume discounts, the solar installer can negotiate a price that’s often lower than what individual homeowners could achieve. In fact, the price tends to fall as more and more people join the program. To bring in as many homeowners as possible, the community organizer and solar installer typically launch a six-month campaign to educate community members about the benefits of going solar. After the educational campaign is finished, the installer then spends the next six months installing all the solar energy systems for homeowners who participated. Vote Solar, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, and the Connect Green Bank have all organized Solarize programs for communities in the past.

The Pros of Solarize Programs

Great Way to Be Involved In Community Action. Being involved in a Solarize program can be a great way to take part in a larger movement within your community, and work with people who share similar goals.

Reputation Boost for Chosen Installer. Solarize programs are a great accolade for the installer that is ultimately chosen by the community. Many solar installers will use their selection for a Solarize program in future marketing materials.

Good Way to Accomplish a Shared Environmental Goal. If a town or municipality has a renewable energy or environmental goal, launching a Solarize program can be a great way to help them achieve it quickly.




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