How SUN’s Solar Co-ops Work. The solar co-op is free to join and open to all Twin Cities metro area homeowners. SUN has an open- and competitive bidding process with local solar installers for the group’s business. A committee of solar co-op members reviews bids with the help of SUN staff and selects a single solar company for the group’s business. All members then get a proposal for solar at their property from the selected installer at the solar co-op price. There is no obligation to go solar.
Incentives to go solar are available. The Federal Solar Tax Credit allows homeowners to take 30% of the cost of going solar as a credit against federal income taxes owed. Minneapolis homeowners can take advantage of the city's Green Cost Share program. This innovative city program requires 20% of homeowners in the group-buy to be low-income or live in one of the city’s Green Zones. SUN ensures this goal is met. This incentive pays on average between $800 to $3,000 towards the cost of solar.
Newly expanded incentives can make rooftop solar possible for low-income homeowners. Last December the Minnesota Department of Commerce enacted dramatic improvements advocated for by SUN to the Income Qualified Solar Rewards program. This incentive program helps low-income homeowners in Xcel territory go solar. Improvements include making it easier to prove income eligibility and increasing the incentive payment. In addition, the solar co-op negotiates with solar installers to allow low-income homeowners to pay a small refundable down payment.
SUN has been helping neighbors join together and go solar since 2013. Around the country, SUN has completed 412 solar co-ops, helping more than 8,500 people go solar, including 190 low-income homeowners. In Minnesota, SUN has helped 248 people go solar.
You can also contact Bobby King, MN SUN State Director at 612-293-7267 or [email protected].