Group launches as city recognized for making solar installation easier
Roof with solar panels

Sustainable Columbus and nonprofit group Solar United Neighbors (SUN) will announce the launch of the Columbus Solar and EV Charger Co-op on April 19th.  The group will help Franklin County residents, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations go solar.  The co-op is launching off the heels of the city announcing that Columbus received a Gold SolSmart Designation Award. The Award recognizes the city’s expansion of solar energy use in their jurisdictions.

"Columbus is proud to continue our partnership with Solar United Neighbors to help residents understand and realize the benefits of going solar,” said City of Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. "Equitably transitioning to clean energy sources is critical to the Columbus Climate Action Plan, and this co-op is helping our community reach our goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050."

The co-op is free to join and open to homeowners in the greater Columbus Area. Together, co-op members will learn about solar energy and leverage their numbers to purchase top-quality individual solar systems at a competitive price.

“Solar electricity is good for everyone,” said Mryia Williams, Ohio Program Associate for Solar United Neighbors. “Our solar co-op makes it easy for members to feel comfortable with their decision to go solar by helping them get a better deal on an installation, providing unbiased expert guidance, and ensuring the right system for their home.”

Additional partners hosting the solar co-op opportunity include the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, IMPACT Community Action, Green Columbus, Ohio Environmental Council, Drive Electric Columbus, Green Energy Ohio, and Power A Clean Future Ohio.

"I believe solar energy is important because as time passes, it is important for us to make sure we are using resources that do not hurt the Earth,” said Ras Jahlani Ben-Levi, an Empowered! program participant. “I want to improve the quality of life for those around me and in my community, so I think preparing people for the future with solar panels is a part of that journey to better my community”

Solar United Neighbors of Ohio has completed 38 solar co-ops across Ohio. Their most recent co-op, in Cuyahoga, closed in March.  According to the group’s estimates, 603 homes and businesses across the state now have solar panels because of solar co-ops, representing 4.52 Megawatts of solar power, $12.3 million invested in the regional economy, and more than 170 million lbs. of lifetime carbon offsets.

After a competitive bidding process facilitated by SUN, which remains vendor-neutral, co-op members will select a single solar company to complete the installations. Joining does not require members to purchase solar. Instead, members will have the option to individually purchase panels, battery storage, and/or electric vehicle chargers based on the installer’s group rate.

SUN will host several free Solar 101 sessions to educate community members about solar energy and the co-op. Individuals interested in going solar can sign up for the co-op or one of the upcoming Solar 101 sessions on the co-op web page.

Solar 101 sessions are scheduled for:

  • April 26, 2023 at 6 p.m. online
  • May 2, 2023at 6 p.m. at Hilliard Library
  • May 15, 2023at 5:30 p.m. at Franklinton Library

For more information visit