A new co-op focused on solar energy is launching in Dallas. The Dallas County Solar Co-op is a group for residents and business owners who have interest in solar energy to learn about and get an affordable deal on installing solar panels.
It's being launched by Solar United Neighbors, a nonprofit, in partnership with 350 Dallas and Green Careers Dallas.
Solar United Neighbors has a mission to create a new energy system in the United States with rooftop solar as the cornerstone. The group educates residents about the benefits of solar energy; helps organize group solar installations; and strengthens the state's solar policies and its community of solar supporters.
They host events and education programs to help people become informed about solar and advocate for fair solar policies.
Hanna Mitchell, program director for Solar United Neighbors of Texas, says in a release that their goal is to make solar power more readily available to all.
"The Dallas solar co-op will enable more homeowners and business owners to join the growing community of Texans saving money by harnessing solar power," Mitchell says. "We're building a movement to transform our electricity system into one that is cleaner, fairer, and shares its benefits more broadly."
All homeowners who reside in Dallas County are eligible to participate in the co-op, and it's free to join. Members are not required to purchase panels. Once the group is large enough, Solar United Neighbors will help the co-op solicit competitive bids from area solar installers.
So if you are considering going solar, the co-op helps get a better deal because there's a large group, says Molly Rooke, leader of 350 Dallas, an all-volunteer group working to inspire Dallasites to take on the challenge of climate change.
"Texas is a great state for solar and we're excited to help make this renewable resource more accessible to people through the group-buy model," Rooke says in a statement.
Co-op members will select a single company to complete all of the installations. They can then purchase panels individually based on the installer's group rate.
By going solar as a group and choosing a single installer, members not only save on the cost, they also have the support of fellow group members and solar experts at Solar United Neighbors.
The group is hosting information meetings in January as follows:
January 7, 2020, 6:30 pm: Texas New Era Center, 1408 N. Washington Ave., Dallas
January 9, 2020, 6:30 pm: Anita Martinez Recreation Center, 3212 N. Winnetka Ave., Dallas