For the past 2 years, many presentations by the Ready for 100 teams in Southeast PA have referred to a successful model to get rooftop solar installed onto area homes — Solarize Greater Media.
Solarize Greater Media was spearheaded by Transition Town Media back in 2016, and resulted in about 50 households generating electricity from their roofs.
This spring, the Havertown Community Action Network joined forces with the Ready for 100 teams in Southeast PA and began developing Solarize Southeast PA. The Havertown team made presentations at their local library, at film screenings, at Earth Day fairs, and most recently, at the Havertown Home & Garden Show.
From each event, Facebook & NextDoor post, we found neighbors curious about solar. And for each, we did a roof assessment — whether their roof got enough sun, and how much electricity the roof could generate — and answered questions. If needed, we suggested ways to reduce electricity usage. We discussed “electrifying everything” to transition fossil uses to electric. We shared stories about local solar installations. We even offered ballpark estimates.
And together, when we had about 30 households who had expressed interest in “solarizing”, or buying these systems as a group, we issued a request for proposal. Of the companies that responded, we reviewed proposals, asked questions, checked their references, the spec sheets of the products they would be installing, and asked them to sharpen their pencils. This was a process that was harder than any of us had imagined.
Each company we reviewed had great reviews, offered fair prices, and one we wouldn’t have a problem working with. Our main concern seemed to be one of capacity — could any one company handle the work we anticipated, in the rather large region that our Southeastern PA Ready for 100 teams were active in?
We therefore ended up selecting 3 companies, split broadly by geography — KW Solar for our Chester County residents; Lumina Solar for our Delaware County residents; and Exact Solar for our Montgomery County residents (and possibly Bucks County). To participate, please contact us before contacting one of these installers. If you already have a proposal from any installer, please let us know!
Here’s a little about each company we selected.
- Exact Solar – In business since 2005, Exact Solar has an experienced team as well, and are licensed to work in PA and NJ. For the past 5 years, they’ve received the Angie’s List Super Service Award. They offer a 10 year workmanship guarantee, and partner with the Clean Energy Credit Union to finance solar loans. They are also amazingly active on renewable energy advocacy as well as divestment from fossil fuels. In addition to rooftop solar installation, Exact Solar also has the experience to install electric vehicle chargers, ground mounted systems, and battery-backup systems to run critical loads during a power outage. Exact Solar has offered us great prices to begin with, and price breaks after we sign-up 20 households in Montgomery and Bucks County.
- KW Solar – With 15 years experience, and licensed in PA, DE and MD, KW Solar has had great reviews. They offer a 10 year workmanship guarantee, and financing via Sungage Solar Loans and Univest Capital. KW Solar has offered us great prices to begin with, and price breaks after we sign-up 30 households in Chester County.
- Lumina Solar – An experienced team licensed in PA, Lumina Solar comes highly recommended. They offer a 20 year workmanship guarantee, and financing via Sunlight Financial and Sunnova. In addition to rooftop solar installation, Lumina Solar also has the experience to install electric vehicle chargers and/or ground mounted systems. Lumina Solar have offered us great prices to begin with, and price breaks after we sign-up 20 households in Delaware County.
What’s next? Everyone who has expressed interest to date will be introduced to their vetted installer, who will schedule a site visit. A site visit will lead to a proposal and an contract. We, as Solarize Southeast PA, remain in the loop, to answer questions, and follow up with the status of each installation — thru the installation and interconnection to the grid.
We, as Southeast PA’s Ready for 100 and Solarize Southeast PA, will also be at summertime fairs and events, tabling, meeting more of our neighbors, and convincing each of them to join the clean energy revolution with us.
Contact us for a free roof assessment, to alert us of an event we need to be at, or if you need flyers for an event you’re tabling at. To participate, you’ll need to contact us before contacting one of these installers.
Together, we may just live to see solar on every sunny rooftop!
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