avatar image for Julie Cook
Julie Cook Kitchener May 13, 2024 12:51 pm
Hi all,
Solar is expanding much more quickly than all other energy technologies in history, which is encouraging to see in the face of the global climate crisis. As part of this effort, Solarize campaigns, which began in Portland, Oregon, encourage citizens to install solar energy by engaging them at the community level through bulk purchasing (many people buying solar reduces the cost for each household). 
The program makes the solar installation process easy, cost-efficient, and convenient. One of the things they do is connect solar installation contractors with a community who lead marketing activities in their geographical region, which saves the contractors money. Those savings are then passed on to Solarize participants, so the installation costs are less expensive. The program organizers also partner with local community groups to do community outreach, which includes instructional workshops and campaigning on a local level. Enrollment in the program is an intentionally simple online application process, and the organizers connect with state and federal tax credits and rebates to reduce the cost of solar installation even farther.  Solarize campaigns are particularly effective in low-income communities and communities of colour, where uptake of solar energy is lower due to financial and access barriers.
The results in terms of cost reductions are impressive. Solarize Portland was able to decrease the price of a 3-kilowatt (kW) installation from $27,000 to $18,000, which is a 33% price reduction. 
Solarize has now spread to multiple cities across the U.S., contributing to a clean energy and climate-safe future for everyone.
If you’d like to learn more about Solarize campaigns in the U.S., click here, and if you know of any successful solar energy programs like Solarize in your area, please consider sharing for the benefit of our readers.