The value of solar power for both residential and commercial applications is higher than ever before. Individuals, businesses and organizations alike are installing solar at record rates in order to reduce operating costs and reliance on the electrical grid.
Many forward-thinking homeowner associations and other organizations are creatively encouraging the adoption of solar by leveraging group buying power. With a group buy, multiple installations can take place nearby one another at the same time. This results in lower installation costs, and installers can pass their labor and equipment savings along to customers in the form of installation discounts.
All parties reap benefits when banding together for multiple installations at once. Electrical costs are reduced, and property values increase, all while making a maximum contribution to the environment.
Although the savings that comes from group buying power is most commonly distributed to members of the group in order to reduce installation costs, it can also be creatively used for fundraising, or to fund a project for an organization such as a church or non-profit facility.
Group Buying Power In Action
How does a neighborhood group buy look in action? Look no further than Oaks Ridge Meadows in Lee’s Summit, MO., a neighborhood that might just be the greenest in the area.
In the summer of 2017, the residents of Oaks Ridge Meadows banned together to make a bold stand for the environment through a group effort to encourage adoption of rooftop solar throughout their neighborhood.
The Homeowner’s Association had two goals in mind: One, to encourage neighbors to reduce their collective carbon footprint. And two, to garner extra savings on the equipment and installations through the collective group buying power.
They succeeded on both counts.
First, a committee of like-minded neighbors formed to research the project and find the best solar installer to make their vision a reality. The committee knew that to encourage neighborhood participation they’d have to prove the value of the investment, and select an installer that would deliver quality, value, education, and long-term service and maintenance.
After reviewing proposals from six potential vendors, and interviewing the top contenders, the committee settled on SunSource Homes.
“After crunching the numbers, we could see that SunSource offered the best group pricing,” said committee participant, Kirk Sampson. “That, combined with their 25-year equipment and labor warranty, made them the clear choice.”
Ultimately, 16 residences decided to install solar systems. The results were dramatic:
- Due to the number of participants,each household averaged $4,000-$6,000 in savings on their installation.
- The participating homeowners will save a combined total of $1.5 million over the next 25 years. The systems will pay for themselves in 7 to 10 years – or less.
- Property values have increased, with one participant having already sold his home in just days with a 100 percent return on his solar investment. Not only that, but the buyer said the solar system was one of the key-deciding factors in purchasing the home.
In the two years since the systems were installed, the participating homeowners have generated 314,000 kW of power, worth over $40,000. Creating the same amount of power using fossil fuel, it would have required 242,746 lbs. of coal, and an estimated an 3,672 trees to clean up the CO2 emissions from that amount of coal production.
Raising Funds For A Cause? Solar Can Help
Schools, churches, and other non-profits can benefit from solar group buys as well.
By partnering with a solar company an organization can help fund a solar installation, or even raise monetary donations for the organization itself. The benefits are then spread across the group, providing a monetary advantage for all involved. As such, there is zero risk, as no cash outlay is needed for a fundraiser that could potentially raise thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the buy-in.
Solar is a flexible solution that can bring much-needed power to developing countries, and a realistic solution that makes a positive environmental impact. To help spread the message that renewable energy is indeed better all around, SunSource Homes has recently begun several exciting partnership initiatives, including with the Kansas City-based Battery Tour that works to raise awareness about sustainability through solar-powered, community-centered concerts and fundraises for solar-powered batteries to send to developing countries.
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