A solar group buy is a group of individuals, often tied together by some common affiliation, teaming up to help each other go solar. A group can be formed by a local municipality, club, employer, etc.
The group accesses community presentations to learn about the nuts and bolts of solar electricity, finds the best installer, and then pools their purchasing power. The end result? Meaningful lower pricing, less individual hassles, and the highest-quality installations.
Sometimes organizing a ‘group buy’ within a community comes about organically. The Midwest Renewable Energy Association coordinates many of these programs with local organizations like the Ecology Action Center in Bloomington-Normal, the Cool Cities Committee in Godfrey, and the Missouri Botanical Garden. In other instances, StraightUp Solar proactively introduces the idea such as when we worked with MilliporeSigma to help their employees solarize their homes.
Either way, we then provide the tools for the entity to organize their group buy program, and then we launch it with them. We have specialized expertise to help any organization pave the way for their own group buy solar program.
This education and group purchase program, now in its third year, offers residential property owners in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County a special, affordable solar installation rate through August 31st, 2021. Presented by host organizations the Missouri Botanical Garden and Washington University. Attend a free informational Solar Power Hour to learn more.
Solar electricity (or photovoltaics, PV) is expected to lower an individual’s electricity bill, and is a home investment for 25 years, and creates clean energy.
The substantial community benefit can also be a compelling draw for individuals. A group buy encourages others to go solar, allows the group to spread the savings through rebates given if certain targets are reached, and multiplies environmental impact while supporting the local economy.
The appeal of solar group buying is universal. That’s why cities, counties, nonprofits, large schools, and major employers are using the group buying model with great success nationwide.
Can I get something like this in motion on my own?
StraightUp Solar has been competitively awarded more municipal group buy contracts than any other installer in the region.
Any size community can create their own solar
group buy to share the benefits of solar. Define
your group based on geography, organization,
Use the power of your networks to find promotional
partners and host locations for education sessions.
A local solar installation company can provide
the design, installation, and even educational
services for your solar group buy. Develop
selection criteria, including quality of installed
work, potential discounts, time in business,
community involvement, and NABCEP certification.
Provide a brief but helpful overview on how solar
works and the details of the group buy for
participants who want to learn about the program.
Pictured here: Solar Urbana-Champaign group
buy participants attend a solar education session.
Celebrate as the homes and businesses of your
community are filled with solar power systems.
They will provide clean energy to the grid and
may lower electric bills for decades to come.
By Dan Hancock, Senior Commercial Project Developer, StraightUp Solar Small businesses in the U.S. spend $60 billion a year on energy (U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR),