Today marks Community Power Network’s launch as Solar United Neighbors. This new name better reflects the unified actions of nine state-based programs working together to build a new energy system with rooftop solar as the cornerstone. Along with the new name, Solar United Neighbors has developed a paid membership program that will help more people go solar and support their long-term needs in a way no existing organization does.
“We envision a clean, equitable energy system that directs control and benefits back to local communities, with solar on every roof and money in every pocket,” said Anya Schoolman, Solar United Neighbors’ Executive Director. “Changing our name to Solar United Neighbors reflects our desire to help more people go solar and build a nationwide force of solar supporters to fight for our energy rights.”
Solar United Neighbors will lead the fight against monopoly utilities that are pushing against rooftop solar in an attempt protect their outdated business model. Solar owners and prospective owners have in Solar United Neighbors a vehicle to create a powerful constituency for solar.
The organization traces its roots to the first solar co-op in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood of Washington, D.C. That group helped more than 40 homes go solar. Word of the co-op and its success spread quickly and soon solar co-ops sprouted across the District.
Solar co-ops provide participants an opportunity to learn about solar technology and the process of going solar. Co-op participants pool their bulk purchasing power to select one installer through an open, competitive bidding process. Co-op participants compare each proposal and decide which is best for the group. This process ensures co-op participants receive a quality installation at the best available price.
With the launch of its membership program, Solar United Neighbors now offers people interested in solar the choice of either its group co-op program or individual one-on-one support. Both programs provide participants with expert, unbiased help every step of going solar. Members continue to receive support long after installation through a dedicated help desk that will answer questions regarding their system’s performance and receive help to understand emerging technologies and new incentives. The cost of membership is $85 per year. Solar co-op participants receive a complimentary membership throughout their co-op process.
Solar United Neighbors programs have helped more than 2,200 homes go solar, generating $40 million in solar investment and saving co-op participants more than $8 million.
News item from Solar United Neighbors