“The future has already arrived. It’s just not evenly distributed yet.”
The purpose of Southeast Wisconsin Solar Group Buy (SWSGB, originally known as SOLARacine), a group buy program for solar electric installations, is to distribute the clean energy future here in Racine and Kenosha Counties. Organized by the energy committee of Greening Greater Racine and modeled on similar programs in Seattle, Portland, and Milwaukee, SWSGB is working with a solar contractor to simplify the decision process, and to reduce the cost of solar electric installations.
Just eight years ago the “installed price” for solar installations was about $10 a watt; in 2016 SOLARacine participants paid close to $3 a watt. A federal tax credit of 30% on the cost of the entire system, as well as a significant Focus On Energy rebate for home owners, can be applied to further reduce prices. As more people participate in the program and the number of installations increases, the cost will continue to decrease.
Solar Group Buy projects save money by enabling contractors to realize economies of scale. We help to organize the marketplace for the contractor, which enables them to avoid the expense of marketing and advertising. It also makes contractor logistics more efficient. The contractor passes these savings to those who participate in the Solar Group Buy project.
In addition to the economic benefits of employing solar power, climate scientists tell us that the transition to clean, renewable energy must happen soon. By installing a solar electric system on your home or business you can add momentum to this transition by doing something you can control, and at the same time improve air quality and public health. Through a partnership with the Great Lakes Community Conservation Corps your participation will also give young people in Racine job skills for a rapidly growing solar industry.