Tag Archives: Community Power Network

Solar co-op innovator expanding nationwide, aims to empower homeowners

By Jim Pierobon, Southeast Energy News

A solar advocate who found a way to create bulk-purchase discounts for home rooftop systems is growing it into a national movement to assert what she feels are the rights of system owners.

What launched as the Community Power Network in 2007 in the Washington, DC, home of Anya Schoolman is expanding under a new name – Solar United Neighbors (SUN). The new organization is targeting, Florida, Pennsylvania and other states by year’s end, with a goal of establishing operations in at all 50 states by the end of 2018. Click here to continue reading.

Photo by Solar United Neighbors


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.

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

Potential model for Nebraska: Milwaukee’s solar group-buying program

MadiSun Program

By Thomas Content of the Milwaukee / Wisconsin Journal Sentinel

A Milwaukee group-buy program that aims to provide volume discounts for homes and businesses adding solar systems is expanding citywide this year, and beyond the city limits to Shorewood. The group-buy program was launched by Milwaukee Shines and the Midwest Renewable Energy Association three years ago and has gone from neighborhood to neighborhood until now. Read more here.

Milwaukee Shines Solar Group Buys
Community Power Network
American Solar Energy Society

Low-income homeowners get free solar panels thanks to cap & trade

By David R. Baker, San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco Chronicle

Run by Oakland nonprofit Grid Alternatives, the effort will install home solar arrays in disadvantaged neighborhoods, using $14.7 million raised through California’s cap-and-trade system for reining in greenhouse gas emissions. That system forces factories, power plants, oil refineries and other large businesses to buy credits for every ton of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases they pump into the atmosphere . . . Most homeowners are asked to make small contributions for the installation, such as agreeing to feed the crew installing the array, or agreeing to help with the installation themselves. Otherwise, it’s free. The arrays will save most homeowners $400 to $1,000 per year on electricity, depending on where they live.

Read the entire article here.

States and Solar Power, By Jake Brown, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

Why solar for low-income communities? Community Power Network

Thank you to everyone who supported our Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign!

Nebraskans for Solar and Habitat for Humanity of Omaha would like to thank everyone who contributed to our Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, “Solar Power for Habitat for Humanity Families.”

Over 100 donors supported the campaign, including:

Bank of the West $2,500
Bold Nebraska $1,000
An anonymous contribution from a California couple $500
43 contributions from 2014 Earth Day events $725
67 donations on our Indiegogo campaign site $10, 885

100% of these funds will be used to solar power two Habitat for Humanity houses, one in the Benson neighborhood and another one in South Omaha. Nebraskans for Solar and Habitat for Humanity of Omaha are continuing to raise funds to solar power three additional houses in 2014.

These families will be able to reduce their monthly energy costs by harnessing power from the sun for the next 20 to 25 years!

The money they save can be spent on food, healthcare, education, and other needs, benefiting their families and communities for a very long time.

Each solar hot water system is compact but powerful, generating about the same amount of energy per day as a 3-kilowatt solar electric system, or twelve 250-watt solar panels.

As we stated throughout our Indiegogo campaign, these gifts will pay our contributors back, greening our community and raising awareness about solar energy and how it benefits people and the environment.

As soon as all five houses are built or rehabilitated and the solar systems installed, each of our donors will receive an invitation to a solar tour and presentation.

We also wish to thank our supporting organizations for their help in spreading the word about our campaign to people who want more renewable energy in our communities:

Bold Nebraska, Community Power Network, Green Bellevue, Green Omaha Coalition, Institute for Local Self Reliance, Nebraska 350.Org, Nebraska Farmers Union, Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light, Nebraska Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, Sustainability Leadership Institute, and Transition U.S.

Helen Deffenbacher, Fundraising/Grants Director, Nebraskans for Solar hdeffenbacher@cox.net

Kathy Katt, Senior Director of Development and Marketing, Habitat for Humanity of Omaha kkatt@habitatomaha.org