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City Manager's Office
City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Matthai Chakko, (510) 981-7008

AN EFFORT TO MAKE SOLAR AFFORDABLE: REGIONAL BULK BUYING
Consider whether this option might work for your household

Berkeley, California (Friday, September 23, 2016) - Berkeley residents can consider signing up at Bay Area SunShares to receive discounts on solar and zero emission vehicles, tools that help reduce our community's reliance on fossil fuels and help achieve City-wide climate action goals.

Bay Area SunShares is a limited-time discount program that pools the buying power of individual participants to get more competitive, lower pricing from certain solar companies and particular auto dealers.

Bay Area SunShares says they offer solar pricing starting at 15% below the average market rate. If interested, people should sign up by November 4, 2016 to take advantage of discounts on solar and electric vehicles.

A meeting to discuss SunShares and other solar options will take place on Wednesday Oct. 5:

Solar for All Workshop
Wed, October 5, 2016
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Community Meeting Room
Tarea Hall Pittman South Branch Library
1901 Russell Street
Berkeley, CA

The effort to connect residents to more solar resources is driven by the City's Office of Energy and Sustainable Development, which shepherds the City's sustainability goals by working with residents, businesses and government. The Berkeley City Council supports the effort to get lower bulk pricing through SunShares.

Increasing the amount of clean renewable energy is a critical component of Berkeley community efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and grow the green economy.

In addition to the SunShares program, the City of Berkeley offers a number of other programs to help residents and businesses go solar, including getting a quick, online estimate of their solar potential through the SmartSolar program, using Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) to finance solar installations, and offering a limited number of low-income Berkeley homeowners no-cost solar for their rooftops through a partnership with GRID Alternatives.

Homeowners who install solar on their rooftops may also be able to take advantage of the Federal Investment Tax Credit (30% of total system cost) through 2019. After 2019, the Federal Tax Credit will gradually decline.

Homeowners who participate in SunShares start by receiving a no-cost, no-obligation site evaluation to determine if their home is suitable for solar. Homeowners can choose to work with any of the three solar installers selected by the program's community evaluation committee. Bay Area SunShares provides neutral information and technical assistance to all participants, but does not endorse the vendors. Applicants should sign up at their own risk.

Thirty-seven cities and major employers have joined forces this summer to spread clean energy and fight climate change by securing group discounts on solar and zero emission vehicles for residents of the greater Bay Area. The Business Council on Climate Change, a non-profit organization, administers the Bay Area SunShares program, which is available to anyone who lives in the nine Bay Area counties and wants to install solar or buy an emission-free vehicle.  

The City of Berkeley is participating in Bay Area SunShares to help achieve its Climate Action Plan goal of making solar affordable and accessible and increasing local, renewable energy. Berkeley is hosting a free workshop on solar, including the SunShares program, on Wednesday, October 5th. RSVP to attend.

Steps to Getting Discounts: 

  1. Sign-Up at www.bayareasunshares.org  by November 4, 2016 to get no-cost solar bids from the three participating solar companies and/or discount codes for zero-emission vehicles.
  2. Register to attend a workshop.  Berkeley will host a workshop on October 5, 2016 to learn about the basics of solar, zero-emission vehicles and ask any questions. You do not need to attend the workshop to sign-up for SunShares.
  3. Get a solar evaluation from up to three pre-vetted solar installers. Register by November 4th to receive a no-cost solar proposal. Once you receive a proposal, there is no obligation to move forward with your project.
  4. Sign your solar contract by November 18th, 2016 to move forward with solar installation and take advantage of the discounted program pricing. Installation of solar will happen in Spring 2017.

To see other resources about installing solar at your home, visit www.cityofberkeley.info/solar

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