Closed to new members

SW Houston Solar Co-op

The co-op was open to residents generally south of I-10 and west of Highway 288.

83 members of 50 member goal

Co-op closes to new members on May 1, 2022

(Español? Consulta nuestro FAQ para más información sobre la tecnología solar y el proceso de comprar e instalar su sistema solar.)

Imagine walking into a solar company’s office with 50 or 100 of your neighbors and saying, “We all want to get solar. What kind of deal can you give us?”

That’s a solar co-op!

In fact, it’s even better than that. In addition to competitive pricing on solar panels, you get:

  • Info to help you understand solar. Our vendor-neutral solar experts are here to help you understand how solar works and make the best decision for your energy needs.
  • A direct line to ask specific questions. You can call or email us anytime you need help. We’ll be here now and long after you install solar.
  • A team that solicits and reviews proposals from solar companies. First, Solar United Neighbors requests bids on your behalf. Then, a committee of your fellow co-op members meet to assess the pros and cons and select the best installer for the group. (Note: If that sounds interesting to you, you’re also welcome to join the selection committee!)
  • Community. You’ll join the growing solar movement. You’ll have a built-in network of support and inspiration from others who, like you, are taking a stand for energy freedom and advancing the clean energy economy.
  • A bigger impact! Going solar creates jobs, and puts energy production and its benefits back in the hands of the people and contributes to cleaner air and water for everyone. A solar co-op amplifies those outcomes exponentially.

Watch the video below to learn more about our solar co-op process and its benefits, or view our FAQs.

How does a co-op work?

Can’t make our info session?

Watch a recorded session for general information on solar, how co-ops work, and what to expect if you join.

2022 Houston Solar Co-op selects Icon Power to serve group

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

The Southwest Quadrant of the 2022 Houston Solar Co-op has selected Icon Power to install solar panels for the 46-member group. Co-op members selected Icon Power through a competitive bidding process over four other firms. The group will hold its final public information session over Zoom on Wednesday, April 27 at 4:30 pm to educate the community about solar and the co-op process. The co-op has also facilitated a solar “open yard” at the home of former co-op member Akshar Patel on Sunday, April 24 from 2pm – 4pm. Mr. Patel invites current co-op members to his home to see his solar array up close and to ask questions.

Co-op members selected Icon Power for the competitiveness of their pricing, the quality of their components and warranties, and their success with previous solar co-ops.

The co-op is open to new members until Sunday, May 1. Residents of southwest Houston who are interested in joining the co-op can sign up at the co-op webpage. The solar co-op is free to join and joining is not a commitment to purchase panels.

Icon Power will provide each co-op member with an individualized proposal based on the group rate. By going solar as a group and choosing a single installer, members can save off the cost of going solar and have the support of fellow group members and solar experts at Solar United Neighbors.

Event details:

• Sunday, April 24 – Solar “Open Yard” – RSVP here
• Wednesday, April 27 – Information Session – RSVP here

2022 Houston Solar Co-op releases RFP

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

On March 18, the 62-member Houston Solar Co-op issued a request for proposals (RFP) for area solar installers. The group members created the co-op to save money and make going solar easier, while building a network of solar supporters. The co-op’s sponsors include Citizens Climate Lobby – Houston, Greentown Labs Houston, Houston Renewable Energy Group, Sierra Club – Houston Group, South Union Community Development Corporation, and Texas Interfaith Power and Light.

Local installers interested in serving the group can download the RFP and response template here. The co-op consists of four quadrants – NE, NW, SE and SW – and members are encouraged to sign up for their respective quadrant. Those who are interested in joining the co-op can find their quadrant here.

The solar co-op is free to join and joining is not a commitment to purchase panels. Co-op members will select a single company to complete all of the installations. They will then have the option to purchase panels individually based on the installer’s group rate. By going solar as a group and choosing a single installer, members can save up off the cost of going solar and have the support of fellow group members and solar experts at Solar United Neighbors.

Solar co-op launches in Houston on anniversary of Winter Storm Uri

Friday, February 18, 2022

Houston, TX– On the one-year anniversary of winter storm Uri that left millions of Texans without power, the Mayor’s Office of Resilience and Sustainability (MORS) and the nonprofit group Solar United Neighbors (SUN) announced the launch of the 2022 Houston Solar Co-op. The group will help area property owners install rooftop solar and battery storage systems.

“Houston’s energy transition is a community-wide effort,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “The solar co-op is a great way for Houstonians to take part and learn about solar energy to determine if it’s right for their families, small business, or non-profit. We’re excited to again partner with Solar United Neighbors for this effort.”

This is the second city-wide solar co-op that SUN has coordinated in collaboration with the City. The solar co-op will help property owners go solar and contribute to local investments in renewable and resilient energy. These are important components of the Houston Climate Action Plan. Last year’s group attracted nearly 300 members.

“More and more Houstonians are turning to solar and battery storage for self-sufficiency, which has the added benefit of making our grid more resilient,” said Hanna Mitchell, Texas Program Director for Solar United Neighbors. “Together, we’re building a movement to create a more sustainable electricity system that directly benefits households and small businesses in the community, while reducing strain on the grid.”

Last year, winter storm Uri hit Texas with a one-two punch. Below freezing temperatures caused electricity demand to skyrocket. At the same time, the storm damaged critical energy supply. The result was large-scale blackouts that killed several hundred people. During the storm, solar and storage proved resilient. Adding more solar energy will ease the strain on the electric grid that future storms could cause.

The co-op is free to join. Joining is not a commitment to purchase panels. It is open to homeowners and business owners, as well as churches and other non-profit groups in Houston. Together, co-op members will learn about solar energy and leverage their numbers to purchase individual solar systems at a discounted group price.

Members have the option to individually purchase panels, batteries and electric vehicle chargers based on the installer’s group rate.

SUN facilitates a competitive bidding process. This year to accommodate the demand for solar, the city will be divided into four quadrants. Co-op members from each quadrant will then select a single solar company to complete the installations in their area. SUN provides guidance on the process but remains vendor neutral. Each co-op member receives a bid from the selected installer. Members decide individually to install any combination of solar, batteries and/or electric vehicle chargers.

SUN has hosted 10 other solar co-ops in Texas since 2018. According to the group’s estimates, homes and businesses that now have solar panels because of co-ops represent: 1.35 MW of solar power, $1.7 million in local economic spending, and nearly 20,000 tons of lifetime carbon offset.

Along with community partners including Greentown Labs, Houston Renewable Energy Group, South Union CDC, local chapters of the Sierra Club, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, and Interfaith Power and Light, SUN will host several free informational webinars to educate community members about solar energy and the co-op. Individuals interested in going solar can sign up for the co-op or one of the upcoming information sessions at the solarunitedneighbors.org/houston.

Informational webinars are planned for the following times:

Saturday, February 26 at 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, March 10 at 7:00 p.m.

About Solar United Neighbors
Solar United Neighbors is a nonprofit organization that works in Texas and nationwide to represent the needs and interests of solar owners and supporters. Solar co-ops are part of the organization’s mission to create a new energy system with rooftop solar at the cornerstone. Solar United Neighbors holds events and education programs to help people become informed solar consumers, maximize the value of their solar investment, and advocate for fair solar policies.

Co-op launched
February 4, 2022

Upcoming events

Installer selected

Co-op members selected Icon Power to be the group's installer through an open and competitive bidding process.

The company is in the process of developing personalized proposals for each co-op participant.

Congratulations! Your home has been recommended by the non-profit West Street Recovery (WSR) to get a free 5 kW solar array through the NE Houston Solar Equity Project. This means you could receive up to half or more savings on your electric bill. This is made possible by a grant Solar United Neighbors (SUN) received from Hive Foundation and incentive funds from CenterPoint. Funds are limited to 10 homes this first year.

What to expect when going solar through this NE Houston Solar Equity Project:

  • You will need to self-qualify at 200% of federal poverty guideline using CenterPoint’s Verification Form, which SUN can provide.
  • We will call you to review the program
    • If you are still interested, SUN/WSR will give you the Participant Agreement for you to sign.
  • Once the Participation Agreement is signed, SUN will add you to the Houston Solar Co-op 2022.
    • SUN will do a virtual rooftop assessment.
  • Icon Power (the co-op member-selected installer) will set a time for a presentation of the free 5 kW solar array proposal.
    • SUN and WSR may attend the presentation as well.
    • We will try to accommodate doing the presentation in Spanish if requested, with assistance from WSR.
  • Icon Power will present the contract for signing by you, after review by SUN.

The Installation Process:

  • Once the contract is signed by you, Icon Power will begin the permitting process including an assessment of the roof. They will need access to the attic. SUN and/or WSR may be in attendance.
    • If Icon sees that your roof needs repair, you will work with WSR to get repairs done, free of charge.
    • Over the course of the project, you will need to fill out additional CenterPoint paperwork provided to you by Icon (SUN and WSR can help), along with the previously mentioned Verification Form.
  • Icon Power will submit permit applications after receiving permission from your HOA, if applicable (usually 30-45 days from contract signing).
  • Once the permits have been obtained (usually 45-60 days from contract signing), the installation will be scheduled. The actual installation usually takes only one day.
  • After the installation is complete, both the City and CenterPoint need to approve the installation before it can be turned on – officially called “Permission to Operate” or PTO (usually 10-30 days from completed installation)
  • Once PTO has been granted, Icon Power will come to your home and turn the system on, providing a basic training.
    • Icon will provide you with the final incentive paperwork from CenterPoint for signing.

Up and Running:

  • You get to enjoy lower electric bills!
  • Once all the homes are installed, we will have a celebration and share the good news.
  • We may ask you to co-host with SUN an “Open Solar Yard” in the future to let your neighbors know first-hand the benefits of solar.

Co-op organizer

Dori Wolfe
Solar Developer
Solar United Neighbors

Hello and thank you for checking out the solar co-op!
Whether you’re just curious about solar, or you’re ready to make the switch now, I’m here to help. I can answer any questions you have about solar. I’ll give you installer-neutral guidance to help you make an informed, confident decision about going solar.
I have been working in the solar space for longer than I care to admit – over two decades! I work throughout Texas, helping communities go solar, join together, and fight for energy rights. Solar co-ops are a big part of this work!
I love seeing fellow Texans harvesting sunshine to lower their electric bills and build a clean, equitable energy system in their communities!
Take a look around the co-op page, and let me know how I can help you today.

Email me

Partners