Beyond Solarize and the Future of Bulk Purchasing Programs

By Rosanne Hoyem

Solarize began as an innovative program out of the City of Portland and has grown into a movement across the country. The program helps members of a community organize around the common goal of installing solar and simplifies the process of deciding who to hire for the installation, what to budget, and where to start. Interested neighbors come together to choose a contractor, purchase and install solar as a community, and save significant costs as a result of bulk purchasing of solar electric panels. This tried and tested model has successfully expanded residential solar markets in states from Washington to Massachusetts.

The Beyond Solarize panel Tuesday morning at WREF 2012 in Denver, CO was put together as part of the Energy Access track. Five representatives from across the country shared program successes and insights into how they had adopted the Solarize model in their city. Most of the cities had utilized the program to reduce the cost of solar PV panels, but programs in Minnesota and Oregon are also using the program for solar thermal technologies.

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Appeared in American Solar Energy Society on May 23, 2012.

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