One of the best ways to reduce the upfront installation costs of a solar systems is to organize a group buy for your neighborhood! Just listen to the success story of Oaks Ridge Meadows in Lee’s Summit, Mo.
A BOLD VISION
In the summer of 2017, the Oaks Ridge Meadows neighborhood of Lee’s Summit approached us to help them make a bold stand for the environment.
Oaks Ridge Meadows resident Grant Gengelbach wanted to fight climate change, but he had bigger plans than just reducing his own carbon footprint. He wanted the rest of the neighborhood to follow in his reduced-carbon-footsteps. He knew the price of solar installation has been falling, and wanted to find out just how affordable installing solar could be. Grant rounded up a committee of like-minded neighbors to research the project and find the best vendor to make their vision a reality.
The committee had high expectations, knowing that to get good 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 6 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. That, combined with their 25-year equipment and labor warranty, made them the clear choice,” said committee participant, Kirk Sampson.
SUNSOURCE, AN OUTSTANDING RESOURCE
To help garner neighborhood interest and maximize participation, SunSource:
- Conducted educational meetings about the benefits of solar energy.
- Provided sound, accurate data, personalized for each interested household, showing the detailed financial investment’s return on investment period (ROI) and projected savings.
- Presented affordable financing options to give interested homeowners the ability to take advantage of the group buy opportunity.
- Offered long-term peace of mind with a 25 year parts and labor warranty.
- Demonstrated that the investment would increase home values.
- Offered a tiered savings plan. The more homes participated in the group buy, the more they saved.
- Installed quickly, with all straightforward installations completed less than 90 days from the date that the final contract was signed!
BIG PARTICIPATION, BIG SAVINGS
Ultimately 16 residences decided to install solar systems!
- Due to the number of participants, each household averaged $4,000-$6,000 in savings on their installation.
- The homeowners who participated will save a combined total of $1.5 million over the next 25 years. Systems will pay for themselves in 7-10 years – or less!
- Property values have increased, with one participant having already sold his house with a 100% 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.
HUGE IMPACT FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
Oaks Ridge Meadows homeowners helped more than just themselves. Combined, they installed 163.2 kW of solar panels. To put that in perspective, the 16 systems combined will save an estimated 154,000 lbs. of coal in one year.
DREAM BIG FOR YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD
“Once we saw the numbers, the payments, and the long-term benefits, the decision was a no-brainer.” — homeowner Charlie Brown.
Why go solar alone? Data shows that solar installations are contagious. When one neighbor installs solar panels, nearby neighbors are much more likely to follow suit! A group buy leverages this to the financial advantage of all involved.