Hello, my name is Luke Sulfridge, the Program Director for OH SUN. I’m excited to work across the state to educate Ohioans about the benefits of distributed renewable energy, help them go solar, and strengthen our community of solar supporters. OH SUN is a project of Community Power Network, a national network of local, state, and national advocates for distributed renewable energy.
Community Power Network has helped groups in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. build similar efforts. In total, these groups have helped more than 1,000 homeowners go solar. More than that, they have fought for policies that have established growing solar markets, while providing a forum for solar advocates to connect with one another.
How have they done so?
Developing solar co-ops – Community Power Network has developed more than 50 solar co-ops. These co-ops are made up of group of people who want to go solar and do so together. Going solar with the co-op has a number of advantages over going solar alone.
The co-op solicits competitive bids from area installers on behalf of co-op members. This helps members save off the cost of their installation. Think of it the same as you would if you were buying in bulk. We’ve found on average the co-op pricing is about 20% less than a typical individual installation.
In addition to the financial benefits of going solar with a group, co-op members also benefit from being able to work together to better understand the process of going solar. OH SUN will work with the co-op to ensure that it’s members understand the technology and the installation process. We want to make sure you are educated about solar so that you feel confident in your decision.
Managing a statewide listserv – If you would like to learn more about solar in Ohio, I encourage you to sign up for our state listserv. This will allow solar supporters from across the state to share questions and best practices about solar.
Fighting for pro-solar policies – We know that solar energy can create good jobs and give people ownership of their electricity production while saving them money. But, this can’t happen without a committed community of solar supporters who will protect our right to go solar. It is important that policymakers understand the value solar can bring to Ohio. It is up to us to show them.
I want to hear your ideas on how we can best achieve these goals. Email me at: Luke@solarunitedneighbors.org.