PUBLISHED: September 25, 2023 at 8:20 p.m. | UPDATED: September 25, 2023 at 8:21 p.m.
Boulder County has partnered with Boulder, Erie, Lafayette, Louisville, Lyons, Nederland and Superior to launch a countywide solar co-op.
The co-op is intended to help residents and small businesses transition to solar energy by allowing them to participate in group buying. According to a news release, nonprofit Solar United Neighbors (SUN), which “represents the interests of solar owners and supporters,” is also partnering with the cities, towns and county in this effort.
Homeowners and small business owners in Boulder County can join the co-op free of charge. Co-op members will have the chance to learn more about solar technology, financing and costs.
“This new co-op is about taking action to create a better tomorrow,” Boulder County Commissioner Ashley Stolzmann stated in the release. “It’s about increasing access to renewable solar energy by reducing upfront costs, building local resilience and taking bold strides towards cutting out the fossil fuels causing the climate chaos we’re all experiencing. Boulder County looks forward to working with SUN on this new initiative.”
SUN, the nonprofit partner, will remain vendor-neutral and facilitate a competitive bidding process, after which co-op members will choose one solar company to perform the installations. Co-op members will not be obligated to buy solar but will have the choice to individually buy panels and electric vehicle chargers based on the group rate offered by the installer.
Homeowners may also be able to take advantage of the solar Investment Tax Credit, approved as part of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, to lower the cost of installing solar by up to 30%. More information about how to use the ITC will be made available to co-op members.
“Renewable solar energy provides so many benefits and is a key component of our community’s sustainability goals,” Louisville Mayor Dennis Maloney stated in the release. “This co-op will make going solar easier and more affordable for Louisville residents and small businesses.”
Boulder Director of Climate Initiatives Jonathan Koehn stated, “We’re proud to support efforts that simplify the process of installing solar. … This co-op channels the power of community acting together to reduce emissions, build resilience, and lower energy costs.”
Boulder County residents and businesses can find more information or sign up to join the co-op at solarunitedneighbors.org/bouldercounty.