Community Purchasing Programs

Community purchasing programs are likely to become very popular in the coming years and will make it even more cost effective for East Bay communities to go solar. Community purchasing programs pool a neighborhood’s purchases of solar photovoltaics, thermal arrays, and energy efficiency improvements. Buying in bulk, a group can save 20% or more on the individually owned installations. Participating residents can effectively manage these programs at the neighborhood level. Community purchasing programs are a mechanism for pooling a neighborhood’s purchases of solar PVs and thermal arrays. Coupled with federal and state rebates, this can considerably lower the out-of-pocket cost of solar arrays to such an extent that they are cheaper than purchasing electricity or gas from the utility.

We currently don't have up-to-date information about community purchasing programs in the East Bay.

There are a number of such programs, but we do not have resources to reseach them. One community purchasing program is the Downtown San Jose Solar Project, which contracts with REC Solar to install PV and with SunRun to provide financing.

Larger bulk purchasing efforts administered by a Community Choice Energy program could achieve additional efficiencies and cost savings. Coupled with the federal tax deductions and state rebates, community purchasing programs can significantly lower the out-of-pocket cost of solar panels.