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Solar Co-op Launches in Sarasota

Jan 4, 2017

Sarasota residents who want to try out solar energy are getting a chance to save money on rooftop panels. A new solar co-op launched in the county Wednesday morning.

Solar co-ops help members band together to negotiate discounts on their solar installation. A coalition of community groups called Florida Solar United Neighborhoods (FL SUN) has created four of these co-ops in the Sunshine State, the latest in Sarasota.

John Lambie is Executive Director of the Florida House Institute, one of the co-op sponsors. He says participants can save up to 20% off the cost of their system.

“You also get the benefit of fellow homeowners helping to support decision-making about the kind of system you want,” Lambie said.

Credit FL SUN

The Sarasota co-op is in the ground stages, so it’s unclear what company will be chosen to install the solar panels or what the rates will be. Before those decisions can be made, residents need to sign up for the co-op and attend group meetings.

“Members of the co-op get together to create their criteria for the system that they think will work for that particular co-op," Lambie said.

Lambie says the first step for anyone thinking about going solar is to visit the co-op website.

“This way you'll get together with other fellow homeowners that have your questions, have your aspirations about this, and get your questions answered,” Lambie said.

Credit FL SUN

The group will host two information meetings this month to educate the community about solar and the co-op process:

  • January 18 at 12:30 pm at the Venice Community Center, 326 Nokomis Ave. S, Venice, FL 34285
  • January 19 at 5:00 pm at Selby Library 1331 1st St. Sarasota, FL 34236