Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 6:32am
Group volume discounts available through enrollment deadline of October 31st
The MadiSUN Solar Group Program is a community based volume-purchasing program to make solar more affordable. The effort is made possible through Recovery Act funding from the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar America Cities program and builds off of the success of group solar purchase programs implemented by other cities in the country.
This summer the MadiSUN solar program issued a request for proposal to seek qualified installers for residential photovoltaic systems at a per-watt price lower than the typical residential installation. The selected installers were chosen by a committee of technical experts and homeowners based upon their qualifications, experience and capacity.
As a result of the effort, MadiSUN group purchase homeowners that enroll before October 31st can receive a discounted price on their solar purchase. The combination of a 40% drop in the price of solar in recent years and the savings achieved when installers compete for the business of homeowners through volume purchasing means that the cost of solar is about $10,000 for a typical energy efficient home to supply almost all of their electricity "off-grid". Over 140 homeowners have already expressed interest in participating and the group is a third of the way towards its goal of enrolling 100kW. If achieved, this goal would represent a 20% increase in the total number of residential solar systems in Madison, which now stands at around 115 installations.
Another unique aspect of the program is that homeowners will get help understanding different financing mechanisms and payment strategies. Seventh Generation Energy Systems, one of the project partners, is helping some homeowners get the most benefit from solar by switching to a time-of-use rate and trading their renewable energy attributes.
Several informational workshops and webinars are schedule to provide an overview of the group solar purchase program and the benefits of time-of-use rates to eligible participants. For more information visit www.madisun.org/group.
A similar group solar purchase program is being launched for local commercial business but details are not yet available. More information will be posted at the MadiSUN website at a later date.
About Solar America Communities
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has designated 25 major U.S. cities as Solar America Cities committed to accelerating the adoption of solar energy technologies. The Solar America Cities partnerships represent the foundation of DOE's larger Solar America Communities program which is designed to increase the use and integration of solar energy in communities across the United States. Visit Solar America Communities online at www.solaramericacommunities.energy.gov.
- Bryant Moroder, 608-577-1150