Today (Earth Day 2016) Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office announced Solarize NYC, a new solar incentive program. The new Solarize NYC program will allow communities — including neighborhoods, business districts and houses of worship among other affiliations— to join together to form single purchasing groups. This benefits communities by giving them greater buying power than individual entities, while encouraging solar developers to build out capacity and sell power to community groups. Groups can apply through a new website, nycsolarize.com.
Solarize NYC is a core component of New York City’s strategy to expand access to clean, reliable, and affordable solar power for all New Yorkers. Through One City: Built to Last, the City of New York funded the NYC Solar Partnership to continue its work to reduce market barriers for solar, attract more solar energy companies to the city, and increase the city’s installed solar capacity.
In addition to supporting the City’s goal of installing 250 MW of solar capacity on private property by 2025, Solarize NYC’s mission is to reduce barriers for communities that have historically had limited access to solar by providing informational resources and offering discounted pricing. Further, Solarize NYC supports the local solar industry by stimulating demand for local installers and reducing customer acquisition costs by aggregating customers.
What is Solarize?
Solarize is a short-term, local, community-led initiative that brings together groups of potential solar customers through widespread outreach and education. The Solarize model helps customers choose a solar installation company or companies that offer competitive, transparent pricing. Solarize programs leverage community purchasing to bring down the installed cost of solar for all participants. The traditional solarize model has three hallmarks:
- Competitive installer selection
- Community-led outreach and education
- Limited-time offer
Solarize campaigns reduce prices through competition, lower customer acquisition costs, and achieving economies of scale. Numerous variations on the Solarize model have emerged to allow room for creativity and innovation at a community-level.
What is a ‘Community’?
You tell us! Community applicants will have the opportunity to tell the NYC Solar Partnership how their Community is defined, whether the boundaries are geographic or otherwise.
Apply to Solarize Your Community
Solarize NYC is designed to serve the needs of both NYC communities and solar installers. Interested communities can apply to the NYC Solar Partnership to participate in the program. Once selected, the NYC Solar Partnership will work alongside community members to design a Solarize NYC campaign that is tailored to the needs of their community. Based on the campaign design, solar installers will be selected. With the design in-place and solar installers on board, the campaign will launch, led by community volunteers with the support of the NYC Solar Partnership.