Going solar for your home has great benefits – from stimulating your local economy, to providing a cleaner environment to your larger community. But what if there was a way for your community to all go solar together?  For communities in the Midwest, there is a way, with Grow Solar and other group purchasing programs!


What is a Group Purchasing Program?


Group solar purchasing programs make going solar more affordable.They do this by taking advantage of bulk pricing, lowering installation costs by doing more installations closer to one another at one time, and reducing soft costs such as educating consumers individually about going solar. 


These programs are sponsored by local entities such as municipalities or local nonprofits who issue a competitive request for proposal to local solar installers. The program organizers compare solar installers based on experience, quality of work, and price, among other considerations. Once a solar installer is selected, the program organizers will put together a small group of volunteers to educate their community members about the program.


One of the ways a group solar purchasing program drives down costs is through strong community education. Program sponsors hold Power Hours, presentations which help interested customers make informed decisions  and reduce sales costs by the installer. Community members also have the opportunity to ask questions at these events, as well as meet with the selected solar installer representatives.


These programs also make solar more affordable through community outreach by the program organizers and their municipal supporters. By activating the program organizers community networks, more people  are made aware of the program, lowering marketing costs for the solar installer, which benefits consumers.


Additionally, these programs offer rebates to encourage more community participation and spread the benefits of solar. Rebates typically run on a tiered scale, and as more people sign up, the more everyone saves. So let’s say that if 5 people sign up, and they hit the first goal they can get a 1% rebate on their solar installation costs. If they get 10 people to sign up, they might get a 2% rebate and so on and so forth. Each rebate tiered system is based on the specific program, these are just examples.


What Group Buy Programs are Available in 2020?


StraightUp Solar was chosen as the selected solar installer for five group purchasing programs this summer! These programs are Grow Solar St. Louis, Grow Solar Metro East, Solarize Southern Illinois, Solar Urbana-Champaign 5.0, and Renew STL Solar. More information on each program can be found below: 


Grow Solar St. Louis

 Now in its second year, Grow Solar St. Louis is sponsored by the Missouri Botanical Garden and Washington University and is an opportunity for homeowners to install solar on their homes in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County now through August 31, 2020.  StraightUp Solar is honored to have been selected as the installer for the first two years of this program. Click here to learn more about Grow Solar St. Louis.


Grow Solar Metro East  

This program is now entering its fourth year. Program sponsors include Lewis and Clark Community College, Collinsville Cool Cities, Glen Carbon Cool Cities Committee, Madison County Resource Management, and Sierra Club. Grow Solar Metro East is available to both residential and commercial property owners within Calhoun, Madison, Monroe, and St. Clair counties until August 31, 2020. Click here to learn more about Grow Solar Metro East. 


Solar Urbana-Champaign 5.0 

As the name suggests, this program is now in its fifth year. Solar Urbana-Champaign 5.0 is sponsored by the City of Urbana and Prairie Rivers Network. Solar Urbana-Champaign 5.0 is available to homeowners and small business owners to go solar, and is available until August 31, 2020. Click here to learn more about Solar Urbana-Champaign 5.0.


Solarize Southern Illinois 

In its inaugural year, StraightUp Solar is excited to have been selected as the installer for this exciting new program. Solarize Southern Illinois is sponsored by Solarize Southern Illinois Working Group and is available until August 31, 2020 for homeowners and small business owners in Franklin, Jackson, Union, Perry, and Williamson Counties. Click here to learn more about Solarize Southern Illinois.


Renew STL Solar 

This is the first program of its kind, offering affordable, simplified solar for commercial and other non-residential customers in the St. Louis area. Renew STL Solar is sponsored by Renew Missouri and Washington University. Renew STL Solar is available for commercial clients in St. Louis City and the St. Clair, Monroe, Calhoun, Madison, St. Louis, and St. Charles  counties and is available until October 31st. Click here for more information about Renew STL Solar.

If you do not qualify for any of these programs above, you have the opportunity to bring a solar group purchasing program to your neighborhood! Call us at 844-977-6527 or email us at hello@straightupsolar.com and we will get started working with you on how to make your group solar purchasing program a reality!