Announcing the 4th Solar Co-op!!!

July 12, 2020
  |   21 Comments

Go Solar and Get EV Chargers with the 4th Solar Co-op!

This is the 4th year that Montgomery County has partnered to work with Solar United Neighbors to bring residents (and small businesses) an opportunity to put solar panels on their homes. This year we are also offering EV charging! So you can put solar on your house and install an EV charger or you can just put solar on your home or you can just participate by installing an EV charger.

JOIN THE CO-OP – all you have to do is click here. 

Solar co-ops give you support through each stage of the solar process. Co-op participants leverage bulk-purchasing power to get discounted pricing and a quality installation, while still signing individual contracts that ensure the right system for your home.

Since our first Solar Co-op in 2016:

  • There have been 561 residents who have participated in the co-op and qualified to install solar panels on their homes. Of that, 240 residents have gone solar as a result of this process.
  • The average size system is about 9.31 kW DC which means about $5 million dollars has been spent on solar installations in the County.
    • Since installations are done by people, this is the equivalent of 40.29 solar jobs that were created and it
    • Over the 25 year expected lifetime of these systems, approximately 51 million pounds of carbon dioxide will be offset (the equivalent of the emissions from conventional electricity used in more than 3,900 homes for a year) and the expected savings in energy costs is more than 11 million dollars.

Attend an Info Session

Past Events 

  • Tuesday, May 12th from 12:00 – 1:00 pm – Solar 101 Lunch & Learn
  • Thursday, May 14th from 5:30 – 6:30 pm – Digital Solar Happy Hour with 7 Locks Brewing, Astrolab Brewing, Saints Row Brewing, Silver Branch Brewing, True Respite Brewing, Waredaca Brewing Company – register in advance and you may receive a 4/6 pack of beer from one of these amazing breweries!
  • Thursday, May 28th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm – One Montgomery Green Virtual Happy Hour and Solar Session
  • Saturday, May 30th  from 7:00 – 8:00 pm – Virtual Solar House Party with Don Street and Poolesville Green
  • Thursday, June 4th from 12:00 – 1:00 pm – BYOL: Know Your Solar Rights with OCP
    • Did you miss this session? Watch it NOW!
  • Tuesday, June 9th from 4:30 – 5:30 pm – Takoma Park Solar Info Session with Solar United Neighbors
  • Thursday, June 11th from 5:30 – 6:30 pm – Financing Your Solar Project with the Green Bank
    • Did you miss this session? Watch it NOW!
  • Tuesday, June 16th from 5:00 – 6:00 pm – Gaithersburg Solar Info Session with Solar United Neighbors
  • Wednesday, June 24th from 6:30- 7:30 pm – Rockville Solar Info Session with Solar United Neighbors
  • Tuesday, June 30th from 12:00 – 1:00 pm – Battery Storage 101
  • Tuesday, July 7th from 6:00 – 7:00 pm – Montgomery Solar and EV Co-op Info Session with Interfaith Power & Light
  • Wednesday, July 15th from 5:30 – 6:30 pm -Solar Happy Hour with MISC Distillery
  • Thursday, July 16th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm  – EV Charging
  • Monday, July 20th from 7:00 – 8:30 pm – UUCR Environmental Action Group “Let the Sun Shine” Solar Info Session
  • Thursday, August 13th from 4:00 – 5:00 pm – Senior Planet Montgomery “Demystifying Solar” Info Session
  • Monday, August 24th from 7:00 – 8:0 0 pm –Yelp KIT Event: Solar Happy Hour with Miscellaneous Distillery 
  • Monday, August 31st – Solar Co-op Closes!

Why Solar and EV Chargers this year?

 size solar energy system for electric vehicleSolar panels and electric vehicles are a match made it heaven,  according to Energy Sage, you install a solar energy system on your home, you can use it to both power your home and charge your electric car for emissions-free transportation.

The cost of solar is falling rapidly, and companies from Tesla to Nissan are manufacturing electric cars for your daily use. Now, the ability to install a solar PV system large enough to power both your home and your car is an option within reach. But even with incentives and rebates available for both technologies, most homeowners still can’t afford to install solar and buy an electric car at the same time. Luckily, it’s easy to install a solar energy system today that takes your future electricity consumption into account, if you take a few additional factors into consideration.

That’s why this year, we are hosting a solar and Electric Vehicle (EV) charger co-op. As with traditional solar co-ops, participants will work together to learn about solar technology and choose an installer through an open and competitive bidding process. They will also be able to purchase a level 2 EV charger either with their system or as a stand-alone installation.

About the Chargers

Level 2 chargers provide about 12 to 25 miles of charge per hour, depending on type of vehicle and power of the charging unit used. They require installation by a professional electrician and utilize a 240-volt outlet identical to a household clothes dryer. They can be installed in garages, on the side of buildings, or on pedestal mounts in parking lots for businesses. They charge three to six times faster than a level 1 charger that comes standard with electric cars. The cost of charging equipment can range from $500-$750. Installation costs typically run between $500-$1,000. Since a solar installer will have to do electrical work as part of installing a system, adding an EV charger at the same time can save on installation costs. Data collected by Solar United Neighbors finds solar homeowners are more likely to own an EV. And, EV owners are more likely to go solar to “fuel” their vehicle with the power from the sun. More than 1/3rd of solar homeowners in Solar United Neighbors’ network have an electric vehicle. Nationwide, about 1% of vehicle owners have electric vehicles.

Montgomery County Department of Transportation and the Department of Permitting Services have put together Charging Permitting Guidelines.

Background on the Co-op

Co-op participants will select a single company to complete all the installations. They will then have the option to purchase panels, Level 2 chargers, or both individually based on the installer’s group rate. By going solar as a group and choosing a single installer, participants can save off the cost of going solar, and enjoy the support of fellow group participants and solar experts at Solar United Neighbors.

Partners for the Co-op



21 comments on "Announcing the 4th Solar Co-op!!!"

  1. Ann/Robert Bullock says:

    We’re interested in Solar for our HOME, but we don’t have a solar vehicle. Is this event for people who are just interested in HOME solar?

    1. Larissa Johnson says:

      Thank you for that question Ann/Robert Bullock – this co-op is for anyone that is interested in putting solar panels on their roof and/or installing an EV charger. You can do either, or both. Please join us for a solar info session to learn more!

    2. You may want to plan ahead for an EV by installing a charger at these reduced rates and while incentives exist. Alternative: install a 240V plug in garage/carport while the electrical work is being done for the solar thereby future proofing your home.

      1. Larissa Johnson says:

        Great tip Joyce! Thank you for sharing!!!

  2. R. Hughes says:

    Interested in having a solar canopy built at back of driveway to cover two cars, including a solar charger station. Possible?

    1. Larissa Johnson says:

      I would definitely suggest attending an informational session to find out what is possible. They will be listed on this page.

  3. Richard says:

    we don’t have a driveway. Is there a way we can do curbside EV recharging in MoCo?

    1. Larissa Johnson says:

      that is a great question Richard and Department of Permitting Services just created a set of guidelines for installing EV chargers: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/DPS/Resources/Files/RCI/EV_Charging_Guidelines.pdf

  4. Great post!💯 Very informative! Thank you for this❗

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  5. Anisur Rahman Khan says:

    Thanks for sharing this informative article. Please do you share any solar cable related articles which is best?
    https://www.zw-cable.com/products/Solar_Cable_4mm.html

    1. Larissa Johnson says:

      Thank you for sharing this information about solar cable…super helpful.

  6. Will Lehrfeld says:

    Great to see this movement in Montgomery County. I live in SS and already have solar on my home as well as an EV charger and electric car and it is awesome. BTW do not be scared about the cost of an electric vehicle. Our electric vehicle is a used LEAF and it was very affordable and works for most of our needs. It’s the perfect 2nd vehicle

    1. Larissa Johnson says:

      So good to hear that you already have solar and an electric car! Please tell your friends and neighbors about the solar co-op if they are interested in going solar or electric vehicles!

  7. Chas Hausheer says:

    I already have panels and am interested in a battery backup unit such as the Tesla PowerWall.
    Does anyone have any experience with solar charged backup battery units?

    1. Larissa Johnson says:

      We are excited you are interested in solar batteries, there are two things you can do, you can email Kimberly Armstrong with Solar United Neighbors: karmstrong@solarunitedneighbors.org or you can contact Solar Energy World as they were the solar installer chosen for this Co-op. If you have additional questions, please email energy@montgomerycountymd.gov

  8. Check out this video that two Rockville rising ninth graders made to promote going solar through the Montgomery county solar co-op. If you were thinking about going solar or just wanted to learn more the video really highlights the benefits of joining the Montgomery County Solar co-op.

    1. Larissa Johnson says:

      Thank you for sharing – we will embed this into the post as well!

  9. Joshua Mandlebaum says:

    I heard that a new rule is effectively preventing the installation of solar panels on townhomes. I heard the new rule requires 3 ft of space around the panels for fire access. I don’t know if this is a city, county or state rule. I am trying to get more information about it. I tried to add panels to my system recently and was told by solar energy world that it is impossible now because of this new rule. I live in a Rockville, MD. Do you know anything about this rule? An ordinance number or something? I want to try to get this rule changed so I can put more panels on my roof.

    1. Larissa Johnson says:

      Joshua,

      Thank you for contacting us. This is a real issue with the county’s new adopted building codes and the associated fire code setbacks. I contacted Solar United Neighbors and they recommend you contacting Aaron Sutch, the regional director for DC/VA/MD mdteam@solarunitedneighbors.org so they can best assist you. And if other homeowners are in the same situation, please contact Aaron Sutch. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

  10. What a wonderful article upon the announcing the 4th solar coop. Such content must be made more and more available. Thank you for this article! This is really very informative. I love this article, thanks for producing such great contents. I love your posts always.

    1. Larissa Johnson says:

      Thank you for your kind words – please make sure you sign up for our newsletter for monthly updates! https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/MDMONTGOMERY/subscriber/new?topic_id=MDMONTGOMERY_167

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