The window of solar opportunity for homeowners and business owners is closing soon. The West Orange Solar Co-op will close to new members in less than 30 days (March 1, 2016).
Why do you need to join a Solar Co-op? Because it is the best way to purchase a solar system for your home or business, according to Joan Cleary, the founder of the West Orange Solar Co-op (WOSC). "We started the co-op last September. I tried to join the East Orange Solar Co-op, but they would not accept me because I lived too far west."
Joan had heard of the benefits of buying solar electrical generating systems throughout a co-op and decided to start her own. As of yesterday the WOSC had 100 members. And 30 of those members have signed contracts to have a solar system installed.
How does a solar co-op work?
Once the co-op membership exceeds 20 the co-op sends out bid specs to qualified solar installation companies. the bids are then reviewed by a Selection Committee (all members are invited to join and participate on the Selection Committee). The Committee then selects the winning bidder. The members are informed of the selected contractor. The members then get individual proposals.
The price quoted for each member will vary based upon the size (capacity) of the system the member desires, but the price per watt is the same for each member. Exact pricing is only available to members of the solar co-op, but the savings can be significant.
Phyllis Olmstead is one of many Apopka co-op members. She has been trying to "get off the grid" for many years. She spotted the WOSC's announcement and attended a meeting in November. She got her quote and signed the contract for a 6.8 Kw system on December 1, 2015. The installation was completed 60 days later, on February 1, 2016. She is now waiting for the City of Apopka to perform the final inspection and for Duke Energy to change her traditional meter to an "interconnect" model.
When her system is generating more power than she is using the "excess" power is "sold" back to Duke Energy. Olmstead expects to save enough money to break-even in 7 years. That payback period assumes she uses the same amount of electricity and that electric rates stay the same.
Joining WOSC is FREE and easy and requires no commitment. That decision comes only after the selected contractor provides the member with a firm, written quote.
Join BEFORE March 1st by using this link: West Orange Solar Co-op