Community Purchasing Alliance Group Solar
Interested in going solar?
Want help going through the solarization process?
Over the last couple years, the cost of solar has fallen dramatically due to increasing incentives and the falling cost of panels. Now, many organizations are going solar and saving money on their electricity bills.
Community Purchasing Alliance (CPA) is organizing a group of congregations and nonprofits to go solar together, helping the participants save 20-30% off the cost of a solar system.
What is a bulk purchase?
The bulk purchase is based on the same principle as buying in bulk at Costco. By going solar as a group the participants can save on the total cost of installation.
As a group, all of the participating organizations go through the process of going solar together. The group uses a competitive bidding process to select a single contractor to install systems on all of the participating congregations. Each congregation signs their own contract with the chosen installer, but all get the discount.
How much will going solar cost my organization?
Many organizations in the region have been able to reduce their electricity bills by going solar. Usually they do this via a Power Purchase Agreement.
A Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) is when another entity (usually a solar installer) owns the solar system installed on your organization’s roof. You then pay the installer for the power those solar panels produce, usually at a price lower than what you are currently paying your utility. For example, if you currently pay $0.14/kWh on your electric bill (for supply AND distribution), with a PPA you would only be paying $0.09/kWh for electricity produced by the solar panels. There’s also no upfront cost to going solar, since you just pay for the electricity the solar panels produce.
Why don’t we just buy the system outright? There are a number of incentives available to organizations that install solar systems. The biggest is a 50% federal tax credit for non-residential projects. Because nonprofits and congregations don’t pay taxes, though, you can’t take advantage of these savings. With a PPA, the installer is able to take the tax credits and then pass that savings onto you in the form of lower electricity prices. The PPA also allows you to go solar without any upfront costs.
Sign us up!
Is your organization interested in learning more or participating in the group purchase?
- One page info sheet
- Frequently asked questions (coming soon!)
- Email us with questions at CPAsolar@communitypowernetwork.com.