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Meet Here Comes Solar’s Newest Group on Windsor Place!

Our third group of solar homeowners has now officially launched in Brooklyn! With three contractor selections under our belt, we’ve seen our group solar model produce real savings for our members: each group has secured pricing over 20% cheaper than the average solar installation cost in the borough!

We are excited that our newest group started off as four rowhouse owners on the same block of Windsor Place in the South Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn. Even with just four households, the efficiency of synchronized site visits and installations and the greater visibility of four new solar arrays on one block makes the project more attractive to installers and therefore more affordable for our members.

The Windsor Place solar group all came down to the leadership of Garry Golden, a block resident and father of two young boys. As a professional Futurist who writes, speaks, and consults about the driving forces that will shape society and business in the 21st century, Garry sees the rise of distributed generation of renewable energy and says that he “prefers to be on the front end of the market transition” in order to access the deepest savings.

Garry kicked off the solar group by hosting an interest meeting at his home and inviting his neighbors via a Facebook group for the block and individual outreach to homeowners he suspected would be interested. After an initial round of outreach, seven households signed up for free site assessments, in which Here Comes Solar staff measure the shading and usable space on the roof and confirm the suitability of the home’s electrical system. Of those seven households, four signed on to the solar group, one household was found to have insufficient roof space, and another two households plan to go solar in the future.

Our Here Comes Solar team then worked with the group to release an “Opportunity Notice” to our Qualified Installers to bid on the project, and the group received three proposals. We all met up over pizza to select the most favorable bid, and the group reached consensus to select Green Street Solar Power, a new company based in the Bronx who offered great pricing for top-of-the-line SunPower panels with a 25-year warranty.

Once the group members locked down this deal, they asked Green Street if they could bring on new members and the installer agreed that they'd offer the same great group price to anyone in their neighborhood! Another group member, Carl Robichaud, offered to host a second info session, and after a round of outreach by Carl, Garry and their kids, over 20 neighbors showed up for the meeting. We currently have an additional 25 households in the Windsor Place area who have signed up for solar site assessments.

What we love about this group is that it can be replicated in just about any block in NYC! Through the Windsor Place neighbors’ experience, we’ve seen that getting a sizable group discount can be as simple as connecting with two or three of your immediate neighbors and committing to work with the same installer (to get started, fill out our interest form). Once this initial batch of households has shiny new solar panels on the roof, all the members expect that there will be a ripple effect for other neighbors who preferred to first see the technology in action before taking the leap to solar themselves. We expect to see a second and maybe even third wave of interest on the block and surrounding neighborhood within the coming months. And that’s how changing our energy system happens!

UPDATED: 7/29/15

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