Illinois group-buy program aims to boost renewable energy

By David Proeber, The Pantagraph

A large solar system helps power a house on Ironwood Golf Course in north Normal.

A large solar system helps power a house on Ironwood Golf Course in north Normal.

Group-buy programs like Solar Bloomington-Normal allow local residents and businesses to pool their resources and install individual solar energy systems at lower bulk rates. StraightUp Solar estimates the average Twin City homeowner could save 20 percent in upfront costs through Solar Bloomington-Normal.

While the initial investment is still expensive — an example from StraightUp Solar estimated the cost of a 5-kilowatt home system at $15,950 after the group-buy discount — customers can receive not only free energy, but tax credits and incentives that reduce the long-term cost of the system. After those credits, the same home system falls to an estimated $5,250.  Read more.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
How much does a PV system currently cost in Nebraska?
Cheaper by the Dozen: Solar Group Purchase Programs, American Solar Energy Society
Group solar purchases helping Midwest cities cut carbon emissions, Midwest Energy News
Milwaukee’s solar group-buying program is expanding, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Solar Bulk Purchases, Community Power Network