NELEN Collaborative Toolkit: Community-wide Solar Campaigns
Community Solar Definitions
Community Collective Purchasing Models for Residential Solar - For municipalities that want to encourage residents to think comprehensively about their energy use, it makes sense to bundle both efficiency and solar outreach into one program in which residents are encouraged to get a energy assessment at the same time as a solar site assessment. A community collective purchasing model can be used to bundle solar and energy efficiency services and to overcome market barriers, including high upfront costs, customer inertia, and complexity in the purchase and installation process. A collective purchasing model encourages buying energy goods and services in bulk at the community or neighborhood level, which helps drive down costs. Further, this model of offering pricing as a limited-time-only proposition often motivates residents to act. By administering a competitive procurement process for efficiency and solar services, a municipality can instill confidence in its constituents that the selected vendor is qualified to meet the needs of the community and will serve the public interest. Read more.
Community-Shared or Owned Models
- The Solarize Guidebook: A community guide to collective purchasing of residential PV systems
- Solarize Connecticut Program
- Let's Solarize: Solarize Connecticut Phase 1 Report - This report details the results of Phase 1 of Solarize Connecticut – a partnership between the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) andSmartPower is part of the Energize Connecticut initiative, which helps consumers and businesses save money and access clean energy. The results cover a 20-week four-town initiative to advance the adoption of residential solar photovoltaic systems by lowering acquisition costs and making solar more affordable to residents using the Solarize model.
- Solarize Mass Program - Race To Solar, HEET - Through the Race to Solar program, eligible nonprofits can acquire a solar electric energy system for their school, house of worship, food pantry, community center, or other building owned by their nonprofit organization. A solar investor will own, repair and insure the panels, selling the green electricity back to your nonprofit at a rate typically lower than the organization currently pays the utility company.
- A Guide to Community Shared Solar: Utility, Private, and Nonprofit Project Development - US Department of Energy
- Community Shared Solar: Review and Recommendations for Massachusetts Models - MA Department of Energy Resources
- Community Shared Solar: Implementation Guidelines for MA Communities - MA Department of Energy Resources
- Putting the Community Back in Community Shared Solar - NELEN
In order to address the lack of public information and understanding about the different models available for community shared solar projects, the NELEN Community Shared Solar Task Force jointly developed a guide document outlining the different options and their associated costs and benefits.
- Solar Power and Net Metering: Good for Ratepayers - This document was developed by Clean Water Action in partnership with Vote Solar, Coop Power, and Boston Community Capital.
- Coming Soon - Community Shared Solar Guides for NH & VT