Press Club

Rethink Energy: Arlington Goes Solar, Part II

In part one we talked about how 34 Arlingtonians installed solar with the 2015 Solar Co-op. Thanks for your questions in the comments section of the last post! We heard you. This FAQ-style post will answer those questions and detail the process to participate in the Potomac Solar Co-op.  

Why purchase solar through the co-op?

By going solar as a co-op group, members will save 20-30% off the cost of a solar system. They’ll also have the support of the co-op throughout the process instead of having to navigate the process alone.

What kind of payback can I expect?

Your payback will depend on many factors like the size of your system, your roof’s shading, and your energy use. You can check out VA SUN’s sample calculations to get a basic idea.

Another thing to think about is your home’s value. Items with lower operating costs often sell for a premium because they cost less to operate over time. Examples include fuel efficient cars, high efficiency heating and cooling systems, or even LED bulbs. The same is true for homes. A recent Department of Energy study found that homes with solar, on average, sold for higher prices. That’s food for thought.

Who is eligible for the co-op? Can condo owners participate?

The co-op is open for Arlington residents and folks who live reasonably close to Arlington.

No condo has participated to date, but the program is available to condo buildings. That said, the co-op model works best if you own your roof. This makes condo participation more difficult. Speak with your condo board about the rules and possible participation. If we can help your condo answer questions and join the co-op, don’t hesitate to ask. 

How do I join the solar co-op or learn more?

If you’re interested in joining, enter your information into the form about halfway down the co-op website. This allows VA SUN to screen your roof virtually, and they’ll keep you posted on next steps. There’s no obligation until you sign a contract. The above infographic shows the process in more detail.

To learn more, attend the first information session this Wednesday, June 8 at 7pm at the Navy League Building, 2300 Wilson Blvd, Arlington. Follow this link for more details and to RSVP.

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy team (AIRE). This county program helps you make smart energy decisions that save you money and leaves a lighter footprint on the environment. Got a question? Email us at [email protected]!

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