Setting up a solar community is a great way to do a big thing for the environment. If you’re a local council, it’s a great way to reduce the carbon footprint of your municipality and provide a helpful service and discount to your residents who would like to go solar. Here is a description of what they are, and how they work.
What is a solar community?
A solar community is a group of people who decide to join forces to install solar cells collectively, and thereby attract the discount of buying and installing in bulk. A solar community could be a group of neighbours, a group of people scattered around your neighbourhood, friends from your local church, workplace, sporting club etc. Anyone can organise a solar community, be it your local council, church, nursing home, community group or just an active, ordinary citizen.
A community generally needs to be a group of more than 20 households to attract a discount. The more people in the community purchasing together, the greater the discount.
What are the benefits of being in a solar community?
Having people buying things in large quantities is always good for a business, and as such usually attracts a discount. In a solar community every participant who is installing a solar PV system on their home will receive a discount, depending on how many people are in the community. The actual level of discount will vary depending on a number of factors, for instance what type and brand of panels are purchased, who you would like to carry out the installation, etc.
As an example, one of our installers was able to provide the following discount:
10 – 150 installations: 12%
150 – 499 installations: 24%
500 plus installations: 30%
So there are considerable discounts available, and the more people in the community, the more discount is available.
What are the benefits of being a solar community organiser?
As a solar community organiser you’ll be doing a wonderful thing for the environment – a group of 100 people going solar with only small sized systems is equivalent to taking 300 cars off the road! In addtion, you’ll be helping other people achieve the financial benefits of solar energy, reducing their power bills and earning income from the generous feed in tariff’s available. In NSW, a 1.5kW solar energy system can pay itself off in under 3 years and then produce around 22 years of profit. After the discount for being a member of a 500+ household solar community, a 1.5kW system can pay itself off in around 2 years.
A 1.5kW installation is nine panels, and generates enough power to obsolete more than half the average home’s energy bills, and is equivalent to taking the CO2 pollution of 3 cars off the road.
How do I start a solar community?
For more information on becoming your local Solar Community Organiser please call us on 1300 78 72 73 , or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As independent solar brokers, Solar Choice acts as an impartial and reputable buffer between the public and private installers. Local Councils can have the tender process managed independently, removing any perceptions of conflicts of interest or favouritism. At least one competitive local installer will be included in the comparison of bulk discount prices, so that the Solar Community has the option of fostering home grown business.
Solar Energy Consultant
Solar Choice Pty Ltd
© 2010 Solar Choice Pty Ltd