Solar panels on home with man, woman and child out front

The Erksine Family with their solar system in Ohio

Nonprofit group Solar United Neighbors (SUN) announced today the launch of the Columbus Area 2024 Solar, Storage and EV Charger Co-op to help Columbus area residents go solar. This will be the fifth such co-op to serve Columbus.  

"Finding a reputable solar installer and understanding the Solar Tax Credits from the Inflation Reduction Act can be complicated," said Mryia Williams, Ohio Program Associate for Solar United Neighbors.  "During our no cost, no obligation co-op program, we build confidence in solar decisions by educating and supporting members throughout the process." 

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

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 the co-op does not obligate members to purchase solar. Instead, members will have the option to individually purchase panels and electric vehicle chargers based on the installer’s group rate.  

Gary Clark, a Columbus area resident who went solar through a previous co-op, highlighted how his system has worked flawlessly to power his home and electric vehicle, starting on day one.  "I think that solar and electric vehicles are a ‘no-brainer’ matched set.  The solar panels power 100% of our house’s energy needs, or 100% of our EV charging plus 42% of the house. The solar is being paid for by our savings on energy costs. Success!" 

Partnering on the co-op are Sustainable Columbusthe Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC)IMPACT Community ActionGreen Columbusthe Ohio Environmental CouncilDrive Electric ColumbusGreen Energy Ohio, and Power a Clean Future Ohio

“Looking into solar installation can be intimidating. This co-op program makes it easier for residents to access clean, locally generated power by providing an opportunity for residents to get step-by-step guidance from an independent nonprofit throughout the solar installation process,” said Columbus City Councilmember Christopher Wyche. "With the passage of our net metering policy, if a customer’s solar panels generate more energy than they use, they can potentially get energy credits that lower their bill. We’re excited to be part of bringing this opportunity back to the Central Ohio Region, it is the perfect time for residents to explore solar.” 

SUN has hosted 40 solar co-ops in Ohio since 2015. According to the group’s estimates, the 667 homes and businesses that now have solar panels because of co-ops represent: 5.1 MW of solar power, $13.8 million in local solar spending, and more than 190.4 million lbs. of lifetime carbon offsets.  

SUN will host several free information 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 information sessions at the co-op web page

Information meetings are planned for: 

Tuesday, May 14, at 6:30 p.m.
Online via Zoom
Register here  

Tuesday, June 11, at 6:30 p.m.
Columbus Metropolitan Library: Northern Lights Branch
4093 Cleveland Ave
Columbus, 43224
RSVP here 

About Solar United Neighbors

Solar United Neighbors is a nonprofit organization that works in Ohio and nationwide to represent the needs and interests of solar owners and supporters. Solar co-ops are part of the organization’s mission to create a new energy system with rooftop solar at the cornerstone. Solar United Neighbors holds events and education programs to help people become informed solar consumers, maximize the value of their solar investment, and advocate for fair solar policies.