On September 4th, Portland had its town kick-off meeting for Solarize Portland. We weren’t sure what to expect for attendance, but over 60 people showed up, 37 of them wanting a solar consultation! Solarize works by selecting a single installer who has been vetted by the Town and running a 4-month long campaign to sign up as many people as possible for residential solar. It uses grass-roots organizing to increase participation and the more people who get involved, the lower the price for everyone becomes.
There are 5 tiers of pricing and the price for solar lowers at each tier once participation thresholds are met. They only need 75 people to sign a contract for solar in order to get to get to the lowest tier and the cheapest solar by December 14th. This model heavily incentivizes residents to get their friends and neighbors involved. With current state rebates and federal incentives, the payback on solar is 5-7 years, which is almost double the rate of return than it was just a few years ago! I am excited for the first person to actually install solar on their home.