'Solarize' program leads to new business models

'Solarize' program leads to new business models

Portland's former Solarize pilot is leading to new approaches to buying solar and running solar businesses.

Solarize was a community-driven effort to help customers pool their residential solar purchases.

Solarize meanwhile cut costs by 30 percent for buyers, and is credited with creating 50 jobs. The program has since sunset, but not before distributing federal grants to 13 other Oregon communities to replicate its model and helping the National Renewable Energy Lab develop a Solarize Guidebook. Since the guidebook’s first publication in 2011, dozens of communities, companies and contractors around the nation have pressed the collective-purchasing idea forward.

But perhaps most interesting is that private sector companies are now finding a niche as the Department of Energy’s direct support of Solarize programs ends.

Read more at Sustainable Business Oregon.