With the goal of obtaining the best solar prices with the best solar practices, in 2012, Watertown resident Jocelyn Tager began the process of figuring out how to do a solar group-buy for her neighbors. In 2014, as the Mass CEC multi-town solar programs were coming to an end, Jocelyn proposed the next phase of solar program.
These components were critical to the Neighborhood Solar program Jocelyn had in mind:
- transparency in program design and pricing
- use of a reputable and responsible local installation company
- the installer must own its process (as opposed to subcontracting out to others)
- the installer must have excellent customer reviews and a track record of the highest quality solar installations
- the installer must have past success with solar group-buy programs
- a no-tier program making the same discount available no matter how many decide to participate
- an all-volunteer program so that all discounts go directly to those installing solar
In the summer of 2014, Jocelyn contacted SunBug Solar to ask if they would partner with her. SunBug Solar accepted. Neighborhood Solar's first program ended December, 2014. In spring, 2015, GreenCambridge asked Neighborhood Solar to reopen the program for three months in order to give all home-owners in Cambridge an opportunity to install solar.
In 2016, Neighborhood Solar offered its third version of the program with partners that gave residents, businesses, and non-profits in Arlington, Belmont, Cambridge, Somerville, and Watertown the opportunity to install solar by offering the discounted rates of a group-buy. This offer combined with our excellent state incentives and federal tax breaks made solar more affordable.
Now in 2017, with Massachusetts’ excellent solar incentives at risk and the stripping away of federal climate and environmental protections, a renewed concern for our environment (see www.resistanceschool.com) has compelled Neighborhood Solar to reopen.
If there is ever a time to install solar, this is it!