Solar for All is a new way of thinking about solar purchasing, building on the concept of “solarize” programs that have been gaining popularity around the country.
“Solarize” generally refers to a group purchase agreement, usually arranged by a municipality or a nonprofit organization that negotiates with contractors to offer a discounted price for solar installments. This is attractive for solar contractors because of the promise of high-volume business, brought about by the discounted price and the ease of participation. With many people purchasing solar installations, contractors can take advantage of bulk discounts, and pass the savings along to customers. Also, they spend less time and money marketing, so they are able to lower their prices further. Meanwhile, homeowners can skip the step of contacting multiple solar contractors, comparing products and prices, and making potentially difficult choices — because the contractors and their products are already vetted by the solarize organizer and the basic contract is already negotiated.
Solar for All adds an important component: a small portion of the benefit of the economy of scale is set aside to purchase panels for those who cannot otherwise afford them. The donated panels are distributed to qualified low- and moderate- income households, and are installed by trained volunteers. To the extent possible, Solar for All helps with additional expenses associated with solar installations, such as costs for permits, electrician, and consultation with a solar contractor.
With Solar for All, everyone wins: homeowners get panels for an excellent price and minimal hassle, contractors get increased business, and people who are struggling financially get relief from escalating electric bills. And the community, state and world benefit from more clean energy displacing the need for fossil fuels.