What Is A Solar Group Buy and How Can I Benefit from Participation?
Deployment Around the World
Solar is no longer out of reach; it is already in mass deployment around the globe from Germany to Wisconsin and down the street. Solar education is the key element in advancing this renewable energy technology. The first goal of a group buy is to raise the awareness of solar and educate the public. The second is to increase the deployment of solar in the area with the participation of a volume-purchasing program. Additionally, everyone involved in a local solar group buy program benefits.
How Does It Work?
Local organizations, jurisdictions, businesses, non-profit renewable energy organizations, and advocate volunteers often work together to select a solar installer through a competitive bid proposal process. Once an installer is determined, everyone works together to spread the word in the community to attend free educational sessions or webinars to learn more about the benefits of solar. Sessions are typically hosted over a few months at different locations or online a few times a week. After learning about the financial and environmental benefits of solar, attendees decide if they are interested in wanting to receive an estimate from the selected installer. As the number of solar projects in the program increases, the more the cost for solar decreases for everyone involved.
Why Should Residents and Businesses Participate?
Participants receive valuable education and immediate answers to their questions regarding the financial and environmental benefits of solar. They learn about the federal and state solar incentives available in their state. Eagle Point Solar installs solar in Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Additionally, they are guaranteed an already discounted price and the possibility of receiving a rebate as the participants in the program increase. Lastly, the solar installer has already been vetted, saving time and providing participants peace-of-mind knowing they are working with a qualified installer.
Not only do participants receive discount pricing through the volume-purchasing group buy program, but they can still take advantage of the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) as well as other incentives in their state and local area. Many states offer additional incentive programs to go solar. Illinois has the Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) program. Wisconsin has a robust program entitled Focus on Energy. Iowa offers a state tax credit. Additionally, businesses in all three states can take advantage of the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) depreciation. These incentive programs help to greatly reduce the cost and length of return on your renewable energy investment. Be sure to choose a solar installer registered, knowledgeable, and invests in the staffing resources needed to help manage the incentive application process. Lastly, consult a tax advisor to help you determine what incentives you can take advantage of.
The best solar group buy programs will often provide a volume discount on top of the initial reduced program price. As more participants enter the program to build a solar array, volume discounts will kick in based on a predetermined number of kilowatts (kW) sold. Typically, price drops will happen two or three times as the participant amount continues to grow, and the kilowatts sold increases.
How Does the Program Lower Pricing?
Lower (or reduced) pricing is made possible by grouping the public demand for solar into a small geographic area creating economies of scale, typically in or around a larger city or county. Upfront costs for the installer are lowered due to ordering materials in bulk, grouping construction crews into a focused installation area, reduced marketing costs due to increased program partnerships, and the bonus media attention a local group buy program garners.
Solar Group Buy Recap
Solar group buy programs are a great way to jump-start local solar markets. These programs inspire homeowners, business owners, farmers, teachers, local officials, and anyone seeking to make a positive environmental impact in their community and save money on their electric bill. Group buy programs provide the public with an opportunity to be educated on the benefits which renewable solar energy provides and receive the best value based on the volume-purchasing structure.
On-going & Upcoming Solar Group Buys
Want to learn more about the financial and environmental benefits of solar and participate in a local group buy program? Eagle Point Solar has partnered with the programs listed below.