Check Back in 2019 For Our Next Solar Group Buy
We won't be running a solar group buy program in 2018 because the City is focusing on installing 1 megawatt of solar on City buildings!
In June of 2017, Mayor Barrett and Milwaukee's Common Council adopted a resolution expressing the City’s support for the Paris Climate Accord. And Milwaukee's sustainability plan - ReFresh Milwaukee - calls for 25% of the City's electricity to be generated using renewable resources by 2025. And we are working toward those goals, so look for solar on City buildings in your neighborhood!
If you are interested in installing solar on your home or business through a solar group buy program, there are a few other programs running around the state with other organizations. You can join one of those programs, or you can get bids from solar installers and compare prices. As always, Milwaukee Shines is happy to help walk you through the process, review your bids or answer any questions you might have. Just email us!
What is a Solar Group Buy?
A solar group buy is when community members form a group and use their collective buying power to save on the total cost of going solar. This program can help Milwaukee residents invest in lower cost solar installations through the power of volume purchasing.
How Do Solar Group Buys Work?
Reduced Price: Through the Solar East Side program, homeowners come together to purchase and install solar as a community, which saves significant costs as a result of the bulk purchasing of equipment. The more residents that participate, the lower the cost will be for everyone.
Education: Through free community information sessions called ‘power hours,’ Milwaukee Shines, in partnership with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, educate homeowners about how solar works, what their return on investment will be, and what financing options are available.
Selected Solar Installer: An Advisory Team is created to select the installer for the group buy. The Advisory Team consists of a representative from Milwaukee Shines, the MREA, the neighborhood association, and a Milwaukee homeowner with solar. The team selects the solar installer through a competitive bid process that ensured quality work at a competitive cost. The chosen installer provids free solar site assessments to interested home and business owners and should be available to answer questions at the scheduled Power Hours.
Financing Solutions: Milwaukee Shines and the MREA also educates customers on incentives and financing solutions. Incentives include a 30% Federal Tax Credit and a Wisconsin Focus on Energy cash-back incentive. Milwaukee homeowners also have the ability to finance their solar through the Milwaukee Shines Solar Loan at Summit Credit Union.
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Solar Group Buy Programs
Over the past few years, Milwaukee Shines has partnered with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA), the Riverwest Cooperative Alliance, various neighborhood organizations and even coordiated with other cities on neighborhood group buys. The advantage of a group buy is the power of volume purchasing, which can significantly reduce the upfront costs of installing solar in your home or business.
You do not need to be a City of Milwaukee resident to participate - the group buys are open to all Southeastern Wisconsin residents and business owners. However, the main focus and outreach is concentrated in the targeted neighborhoods. Solar group buys have been completed in several Milwaukee neighborhoods, including Washington Heights, Layton Boulevard West, Bayview, Riverwest and the East Side and now we conduct city-wide solar group buy programs.
As a result, 170 home and business owners have installed new solar electric and solar hot water systems totaling 616kW of clean, renewable energy!