2021 Solar Group Buy Success
Thank you for your interest in Milwaukee's solar group buy program.
The Greater Milwaukee solar group buy program wrapped up its most successful year to date, resulting in 62 homeowners and 2 businesses installing 421 kilowatts of new solar installations. In addition to federal tax credits and Focus on Energy rebates, participants also received rebates from the solar installer. Solar arrays installed through the 2021 program will offset emissions equivalent to 388,239 pounds of coal burned annually and will save an estimated $41,000 a year in electric bills.
Along with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, program partners included the Bay View Neighborhood Association, Sherman Park Neighborhood Association, Walkers Point Neighborhood Association, St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Murray Hill Neighborhood Association, Walnut Way Conservation Corporation as well as the City of Glendale and the Villages of Bayside, Fox Point, Shorewood, and Whitefish Bay.
We are also pleased that this past year's group buy included a partnership with the Milwaukee non-profit Walnut Way Conservation Corp. in Lindsay Heights for solar job training and a solar + storage installation on the Walnut Way Wellness Commons building!
Thank you to our partners - the Midwest Renewable Energy Association and our solar installer Arch Electric.
Photo Credit: Jeremy Hooper
Walnut Way Conservation Corp solar install
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 area residents invest in lower cost solar installations through the power of volume purchasing.
How Do Solar Group Buys Work?
Reduced Price: Through Milwaukee's solar group buy 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, neighborhood associations, homeowners with solar, faith communities and anyone else who is partnering on the program. 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 educate customers on incentives and financing solutions. Incentives include a 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 regional solar group buy programs.