Join the FIRST EVER Capital Area Solar Co-op 2021

May 5, 2021
  |   12 Comments

For the first time in jurisdictional history – Montgomery County is joining the town of Poolesville, cities of Bowie, Falls Church, Frederick, Gaithersburg, Rockville, Takoma Park, and Washington DC as well as Arlington and Frederick County in an effort to promote residential solar installations!

Launched on April 1, 2021, this is no April’s Fool’s Joke, this cooperative, collaborative Co-op opportunity will be available from April – August 2021 for residents all over the Capital Area!

Have you been thinking about going solar but not know how or where to start? Are you not sure about financing or incentives? Are you interested in adding an electric vehicle charging station to your home?

The #CapitalAreaSolarCoop is here to answer all those questions and more!!! Find out more at the #CapitalAreaSolarCoop webpage to pick your state and find out information specific to you.

Why should I join the #CapitalAreaSolarCoop  

We have partnered with Solar United Neighbors (SUN) a local nonprofit to help residents go solar, install EV charging stations, and even purchase solar storage. Joining #CapitalAreaSolarCoop is FREE – that’s right – NO MONEY NEEDED TO JOIN!!!

Solar co-ops give you support through each stage of the solar process. 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.

Watch this video for a more in-depth explanation.

How do I find out more?

We encourage you to attend a FREE informational session – all of which are happening online this year. Go to the #CapitalAreaSolarCoop webpage, click on your area: DC, Maryland, or Virginia, and then go to EVENTS.

Once there, you will see all of the options available to you! If you can’t make any of the Maryland dates – that is okay, DC and Virginia also have options open to you. There will be General Solar 101 informational sessions as well as specialized presentations from partner organizations, Montgomery County Green Bank, One Montgomery Green, and Poolesville Green.

Continue to check the EVENTS page to find out what is happening and when.

On Tuesday, April 6th, the City of Takoma Park hosted a Solar 101 Session, watch it here.

On Monday, June 21st – Interfaith Power & Light, the Montgomery County Green Bank, and the Montgomery County Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions (MCFACS), provided a webinar about going solar. 


Before You Go Solar – Make Sure Your Home is Energy Efficient

What is the cheapest form of energy? It is the energy we don’t use – also known as conservation. Energy efficiency is all about not wasting energy and helps us reduce our energy consumption. The goal of energy efficiency is saving costs both in energy production and energy consumption. As a rule, reducing energy use is also seen as a solution to the problem of reducing global emissions of greenhouse gases.

So, before you go solar, we want to make sure that your home is as energy efficient as possible.

Schedule a Home Energy Assessment

A Home Energy Assessment can help you determine how much energy your home uses, where your home is losing energy, and which problem areas and fixes you should prioritize to make your home more efficient and comfortable. In Maryland, we have two options available through the EmPOWER Maryland Program.

  1. Quick Home Energy Check up
    This program is at NO ADDITIONAL COST to residents who pay their utility bill, the appointment takes about 45-60 minutes to complete.
    What to expect: A contractor will provide you with energy efficient products such as: LED light bulbs, high efficiency showerheads, advanced powerstrips, and more.
  2. The Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® Program
    This program costs $100 (a $400 value which is paid by the EmPOWER Maryland Program), the appointment takes about 2-3 hours to complete.
    What to expect: A contractor will provide you with energy efficiency products such as: LED bulbs, efficient-flow showerheads, smart strips, and more. Additionally, you will receive a detailed report with recommended improvements, rebates, and the potential energy savings you could receive.

If Your Roof Doesn’t Support Solar

That is okay, there are still options for you! Community, or shared, solar makes it possible for anyone with an electric bill to access solar energy, even if they can’t put it where they live.

Residents receive the same benefit as installing solar panels on their roofs by subscribing to a large commercial project in the same utility area. Find local projects in which you can participate.

Not sure where to start or have other energy questions?

Visit www.MontgomeryEnergyConnection.org – it is your link to energy savings. Check out the #CapitalAreaSolarCoop webpage for more information as well.

 



12 comments on "Join the FIRST EVER Capital Area Solar Co-op 2021"

  1. John Hardy says:

    Thank you!

    1. Larissa Johnson says:

      Thank you! We hope you join and if you have any questions, please email us at energy@montgomerycountymd.gov

  2. catherine c commander says:

    We would like to explore participation for our local church – is this eligible through this program? Thank you in advance for any info / contacts

  3. DANIEL SEGAL says:

    THE SCAM IS THESE HOME INSPECTORS CAN DO 6 OR MORE OF THESE HOME INSPECTIONS A DAY AT $100 / HOUSE = $300 FOR THE COMPANY AND $300 FOR THE INSPECTOR.
    Well, that $100 bought me an absurd proposal that the inspector told me “it will be high priced for the type of work.” He did not have much of what I needed as far as free spiffs of light bulbs and power strips. It was a big fat waste of my time and money. Sure I could spend $15,000 on sealing corners of the eaves of my attic and holes where wires come up out of second story walls into my attic space. That is what they are selling!!!! Basically, a sprayed version of Gorilla Glue / Expandable Foam Draft Sealer and selling it for a fortune.
    Take your wife out for dinner instead!!!

    1. Larissa Johnson says:

      Dan,

      Thank you for sharing your experience. We have sent you an email asking for more information. If anyone else has a Home Performance Audit and doesn’t receive the materials they expect, please email energy@montgomerycountymd.gov and we will make sure you receive those items.

      1. Rob Fox says:

        When we did our home energy audit in 2019 it was a similar experience. They didn’t provide us with good recommendations for what to actually do, only multi-thousand dollar estimates for seam sealing our garage and insulating our attic. They had no items they brought to actually to any helping, and didn’t provide insights on any window/door drafts for any other parts of the house other than those big projects. It was a waste of $100 and put a sour taste in my mouth from the whole process. I have since installed new weatherstripping on our garage door, insulation around the house, weather stripping for our front door and windows, none of which were talked about by the auditor.

        1. Larissa Johnson says:

          Rob, we are so sorry to hear that – I have emailed you a specific email and hope you participate in the Montgomery County Energy Efficiency Tax Credit is a $250 in tax credits provided by the Department of Finance available for homeowners for energy efficiency improvements such as air-sealing and insulation, heating and cooling equipment, windows, and doors. The credit can be taken once per year for purchases made during that fiscal year (July 1 – June 30). The total amount available annually in the County is $100,000, so apply at the link below. Section 2 of the application applies to the Energy Conservation Devices
          https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/Finance/Resources/Files/data/taxes/renewable_energy_tax_credit_application.pdf

  4. Suellen Keiner says:

    Is the new Capital Area Solar Coop available for condominiums and other multi-family structures to participate?

    1. Larissa Johnson says:

      Suellen – this is meant for residents who own their roof – but please contact https://www.solarunitedneighbors.org/maryland/ for larger buildings 🙂

      1. Suellen Keiner says:

        Thank you, Larissa, for your explanation.

  5. sam says:

    Hi we have always had an interest in solar, however the tree in our backyard blocks direct sunlight onto the south facing roof. Non of the solar contractors will offer to cut down the tree.

    Any suggestions would help.

    Thank you

    1. Lindsey Shaw says:

      Thanks for reaching out to us, Sam. We sent a note to your email about how Maryland’s community solar option might be a better fit for your situation. Let us know if you have additional questions!

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