Group makes it easy for homeowners to save money
CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH – The nonprofit group Solar United Neighbors (SUN) announced the launch of the Cuyahoga County Solar Co-op to help Cleveland-area residents go solar. The group is partnering with Cuyahoga County and the City of Cleveland to spread the word about this opportunity.
“There’s never been a better time to go solar,” said Tristan Rader, Solar United Neighbors’ Ohio Program Director. “Rising energy costs and new incentives from the Inflation Reduction Act mean solar savings are within reach for more Cuyahoga County families. We’re eager to help you learn if solar is right for you.”
The co-op is free to join and open to homeowners and business owners in Cuyahoga County. Those from surrounding areas, Lorain, Medina, Summit, Geauga, and Lake Counties, are also welcome to join. Together, co-op members will learn about solar energy and leverage their numbers to purchase individual solar systems at a competitive price and top quality.
“Cuyahoga County is proud to support this initiative, making it easier for residents and small business owners to save money,” said Mike Foley, Cuyahoga County Director of Sustainability. “This marks the ninth solar co-op we’ve worked on with SUN. The hundreds of solar-powered families prove it’s a great way to go solar.”
After a competitive bidding process facilitated by SUN, which remains vendor-neutral, co-op members will select a single solar company to complete the installations. Joining the co-op does not obligate members to purchase solar. Instead, members will have the option to individually purchase panels and battery storage based on the installer’s group rate.
“I had the privilege of going through the solar co-op a few years ago,” said Kim Mann of Fairview Park. “After attending a solar 101 presentation, I felt like I learned what I needed to move forward. Our solar array has dramatically reduced our electric bill for four years and counting.”
SUN has hosted 40 solar co-ops in Ohio since 2015. According to the group’s estimates, the 600+ families that now have solar panels because of co-ops represent more than $13 million in local economic investment, more than 180 million lbs. of lifetime carbon offset, and nearly 100 jobs.
SUN will host several free information sessions to educate community members about solar energy and the co-op. Individuals interested in going solar can sign up for the co-op or one of the upcoming information sessions at the co-op web page.
About Solar United Neighbors
Solar United Neighbors is a nonprofit organization that works in Ohio and nationwide to represent the needs and interests of solar owners and supporters. Solar co-ops are part of the organization’s mission to create a new energy system with rooftop solar at the cornerstone. Solar United Neighbors holds events and education programs to help people become informed solar consumers, maximize the value of their solar investment, and advocate for fair solar policies.
About Cuyahoga County
Cuyahoga County is the geographic and economic core of the Greater Cleveland Metropolitan Area and, with over 1.2 million residents, it is the second most-populous county in the State of Ohio. The County promotes regional growth, economic opportunity, individual well-being, regional collaboration, and superior services.
With the creation of its Department of Sustainability in 2015, Cuyahoga County has worked effectively to implement climate mitigation and climate adaptation strategies. In 2018, Cuyahoga County implemented a four-megawatt solar installation on a closed landfill in Brooklyn, Ohio – the first project of its kind in the State of Ohio. Since then, the County has installed solar on four of its own buildings, has enabled the installation of municipal solar arrays in two first ring suburbs, and has partnered with nonprofit solar advocacy organization Solar United Neighbors to administer a successful residential solar buying co-op. In 2021, Cuyahoga County created its own County utility authority, with a goal of developing resilient renewable energy microgrids throughout the region.
With the understanding that poor and underserved communities are most impacted by climate change, Cuyahoga County regularly works with community groups and vulnerable populations. In developing its Climate Action plan, the County created its Climate Vulnerability Map, which is used to make resource allocation decisions for programs such as the Healthy Urban Tree Canopy Program and the Plastic Bag Reduction Grant Program