First co-op to include rooftop solar and electric vehicle charging forming in Arlington

By Zach Schalk on April 16, 2018

Neighbors in Arlington, Alexandria, and Fairfax County have formed a solar co-op to save money and make going solar easier, while building a network of solar supporters. For the first time, the group will also help electric vehicle (EV) owners—and those interested in purchasing EVs—receive discounted pricing and unbiased, installer-neutral support on adding a Level 2 charger for their home or business. Level 2 chargers add up to 25 miles of driving range per hour of charge, three to six times faster than the standard-issued Level 1 charger.

Co-op participants will be able to choose between installing solar, installing a Level 2 charger, or both. These charges require installation by professional electricians and can be used for business or residential charging applications.

Co-op sponsors include Arlington County, Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment, VA Clean Cities, and Solar United Neighbors. The group is seeking participants and will host an information meeting Wednesday, May 2 at the Navy League Building, 2300 Wilson Boulevard, to educate the community about solar and the co-op process. Click here to RSVP.

“We’ve seen more than 100 Arlingtonians purchase solar systems through these co-ops in the past. The discount and support of the group make it a lot easier to go solar,” said Chris Somers of Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy. “We’re also excited that this group will have the option to buy electric vehicle chargers, and look forward to helping group participants feel confident in their decision to move forward with one or both of these technologies.”

Solar United Neighbors expands access to solar and other clean technologies like EVs by educating Virginia residents about the benefits of distributed energy resources, helping them organize group solar installations, and strengthening Virginia’s solar policies by building its community of solar supporters. Solar United Neighbors has supported more than two-dozen solar co-ops across Virginia, including four previously in Arlington. Statewide, 650 homes have gone solar with Solar United Neighbors’ help.

“I am excited to work with Arlington, Alexandria, and Fairfax County residents to educate them about the benefits of solar energy and electric vehicles,” said Aaron Sutch, Solar United Neighbors of Virginia Program Director. “Solar power can help people save on their electric bills while producing clean, local fuel to power electric vehicles. If you’ve ever thought about going solar, or installing an EV charger, this is the perfect opportunity to do so.”

Data collected by Solar United Neighbors finds those with solar are more likely to own an EV, and EV owners are more likely to go solar to “fuel” their vehicle with the power from the sun. More than 1/3rd of solar homeowners in Solar United Neighbors’ network have an electric vehicle.  Nationwide, about 1% of vehicle owners have electric vehicles.

Area residents interested in joining the co-op can sign up at the co-op web page. The co-op is free to join, and joining is not a commitment to purchase solar panels or a Level 2 charger. Once the group is large enough, Solar United Neighbors will help the co-op solicit competitive bids from area installers.

Co-op participants will select a single company to complete all the installations. They will then have the option to purchase panels, Level 2 chargers, or both individually based on the installer’s group rate. By going solar as a group and choosing a single installer, participants can save off the cost of going solar, and enjoy the support of fellow group participants and solar experts at Solar United Neighbors.

Information Session Details

Wednesday, May 2
6:30 p.m.
Navy League Building
2300 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201
Click here to RSVP