Community Shared Solar with Solarize


We have found that a lot of people want to
do solar, but they don’t know where to get started.
Shots of installers. Rahr appears onscreen. Rahr: What the Solarize program did is it
accelerated our installation rates by accelerating the process and reducing the cost.
Jason Coughlin (Project Leader for Solar Markets and Finance, National Renewable Energy Laboratory)
appears onscreen. Coughlin: The Solarize program is a group
buy concept whereby neighbors come together and collectively purchase residential PV installations
for their rooftops. Montage of installers placing solar panels
on a residential rooftop. Coughlin: It’s an old concept of coming together,
power in numbers, and in this case, we’re applying it to the concept of rooftop solar.
Various shots of installed panels on residential tooftops. Rahr appears onscreen.
Rahr: For the homeowner, it gives them the comfort and confidence they need to move forward
with a solar installation. Greg Harr (Solarize Participant) appears onscreen.
He is standing in front of his home, which has several solar panels installed on its
roof. Harr: The biggest benefit for us in participating
in the Solarize program was the reduced cost of group buying power that the Solarize program
provided. I mean, we were able to go with a much larger system, I think 27 total panels,
because we were able to get some of that reduced pricing.
Pete Edling (Solarize Solar Contractor) appears onscreen. He is sitting on a roof; to his
right, a worker is installing solar panels on the roof. Montage of rooftop panel installation.
Edling: Because the Solarize campaigns are pretty intense through the interview, it takes
a more successful and hardworking business to pull through and prove to the committees,
the Solarize committees, that we’re going to stand behind our work, and we’re going
to do a great installation, and we’re going to offer 100% customer satisfaction.
Shots of residential rooftop panels. Coughlin appears onscreen, followed by shots of the
Solarize Guidebook. Coughlin: So the Solarize Guide basically
walks a community interested in creating a Solarize program through the various steps,
you know, soup to nuts, if you will, on how to create a Solarize program. So what we’ve
tried to do with the guide is create a case study approach so that communities can learn
from one another, can share ideas … We’re beginning to see companies and workplaces
offering the Solarize as an employee benefit. Various screenshots of the Solar Benefits
Colorado Program website are shown onscreen. Coughlin: And so while it’s not a neighborhood
in the strictest sense, it’s a community where you can get the similar strength in numbers
and economies of scale. Coughlin appears onscreen.
Coughlin: You create a win-win with your employees with a lower entry point, if you will, for
a residential rooftop solar installation; at the same time, you create a list of hot
leads for a solar installer. Shots of residential rooftop panels. Rahr
appears onscreen. Rahr: The SunShot Initiative allowed us to
take what was a pilot, Solarize Portland in 2009, and allowed us to take that to scale.
Coughlin appears onscreen, followed by a map of the United States of America. SunShot logos
appear on the map to denote Solarize locations in Oregon, California, Vermont, Washington,
Arizona, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin. Coughlin: We’re seeing it blossom across the
country – I could rattle off cities from Seattle to Tucson, to Denver, to Boston, to Madison,
Wisconsin. I think what we’ve created is this idea of strength in numbers, a good deal,
and a limited time to act on it, and when you bring that together in the case of solar,
you bring people off the fence and into the marketplace very quickly.
Shots of solar installation on Harr’s roof. Harr appears onscreen, followed by a shot
of an electricity meter. Harr: We’ve had the system for a little over
a year, and we’ve generated over 10 megawatt-hours of electricity, the large majority of which
goes back to the grid. Shots of solar installation on Harr’s roof,
followed by Harr standing in front of his home.
Harr: We’re really happy with the results that we’ve had. We’re really happy with the
system.

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