As featured on West Virginia Public Broadcasting, more than 50 residents of the Monroe County, WV have organized into a power co-op, leveraging their collective buying power to go solar together and get a discount. Following a competitive bidding process the group selected Frederick, MD–based Sustainable Energy Systems to complete all of the group’s installations.
Organized by Joe Chasnoff and members of Stand Up for Monroe, the co-op formed earlier this year in response to a desire to make solar projects happen in the county. They contacted the D.C.-based non-profit Community Power Network to help the group learn about solar, host information meetings, and solicit bids from local installers.
The group organized residents across Monroe County to attend informational sessions and join the co-op. Once they had about 40 members they solicited bids from area companies. By choosing a single installer the group was able to get about a 30% discount off the cost of going solar.
Co-op members were pleased to select Sustainable Energy Systems for their competitive price, strong warranties, and commitment to hiring locally. Founded in 2008, Sustainable Energy Systems (SES) has designed and installed over 300 residential and small commercial systems in MD and is dedicated to designing and engineering quality and cost effective systems. SES’s Solar Sales Manager Joshua Rodgers said he is excited to start working with members of the Monroe Co-op.
The Monroe Power Co-op will be open to new members through October 31, 2014. More information about the co-op and a form to sign up is available on their website.
About Community Power Network and WV SUN
The Community Power Network (CPN) is a network of grass roots, local, state, and national organizations working to build, and promote locally based renewable energy projects & policies. Our mission is, in part, to help people start their own community-based renewable energy projects by providing resources, technical assistance, case studies, and connections to other practitioners. A project of CPN, West Virginia Solar United Neighborhoods (WV SUN) is leading the transition across West Virginia—helping towns and communities develop renewable energy projects and programs that will sustain our economies and our planet for the long haul, while making sure we continue to power America. They fight for the little guys—the non-profits, homeowners and farmers that can’t afford the constant rate increases. They work with towns with long, proud histories that need new industries and new jobs and look to a future to a future that’s locally grown—with power and good livings to be made in the hollers,
About Sustainable Energy Systems
Sustainable Energy Systems is a renewable energy design and installation business based in Frederick, MD and operating in the mid-Atlantic region. They focus on photovoltaic systems (grid tied, battery backup, off-grid) and solar water heating systems and offer multiple options to go solar including cash purchase, lease and power purchase agreements.
About the Monroe County Power Co-op
A group of neighbors in Monroe County have forming a power cooperative and are going solar in order to get a discount. The effort is being sponsored by Stand Up for Monroe! and anyone in Monroe County is welcome to join the co-op.