Solarize East Bay is a member of the Community Power Network, a network of community organizations working to help spread local, renewable energy.
The project is independent of any solar company. A committee of early participants will select a company for the bulk deal based on criteria of its own choosing through a competitive bidding process.
The company selected for the bulk deal will also be responsible for installing, and potentially maintaining the systems as well.
Participants will have the option purchase a solar PV system, or lease or get a PPA (power purchase agreement). (Note: a lease has a flat monthly rate, where as a PPA has a rate per kilowatt hour. The hallmark of both arrangements is that the system is owned by a third party which allows homeowners to get solar energy with no money down, while often saving on their electricity bills.)
Each participant will sign its own individual contract with the selected solar company, with the rate determined by the competitive bidding process.
One of the key elements of the Solarize model is a tiered pricing structure. This means that the more people to sign up, the bigger the discount all participants will receive. For instance, the first tier might be from 10 to 25 installations, the second might be from 25 to 50, etc. with each successive tier providing a larger discount to participants. This is meant to encourage participants to help spread word of the project.
There will be information sessions featuring representatives of the American Solar Energy Society to further educate people about solar in general and the project in particular.
The key to this project working is our ability as community members to tap into our networks to help get the word out. If you have any ideas for ways of reaching people with word of the project, your suggestions are more than welcome.
If you would like more in depth information on the Solarize model, here is the link to the Solarize Guidebook, mentioned in the Department of Energy video.
You can reach Project Organizer Spencer Veale at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 510.703.4372