Trisha McConnell and Jim Billings in front of their solar installation

Trisha McConnell and Jim Billings in front of their solar array, installed in 2020.

What is a Solar Group Buy?

Being part of a Legacy Solar Co-op solar group buy is an easy, affordable way to achieve your solar goals, while building resiliency and promoting economic justice in your community. It also gives participants the easy button through a recent financing option with greenpenny, a virtual and carbon-neutral bank dedicated to financing a sustainable tomorrow. The end result is that each group buy participant realizes significant cost savings when installing solar.

Each group buy program defines who is eligible to participate and offers discounted pricing based on the economies of scale made possible by being part of the group. Legacy sets up the logistical and marketing structure of the program. The sponsor, like a community group in a city or county, assists with the promotion of the program within their community.

Join our email list for solar group buy updates and to be notified when new webinar sessions become available.

Who is eligible?

Residents, businesses and nonprofits in Dane County, Northwoods, Iowa County and Fox Valley, spanning 21 counties in Wisconsin.

Where do I start?

If you are ready to get started, complete the solar assessment form now.

If you’re not familiar with Solar Group Buys, attend one of our educational webinars (see below) to learn more about the specific Solar Group Buy that interests you. After a brief presentation by Legacy Solar Co-op and greenpenny, participants will hear from the installers and have the chance to ask questions. Webinar participants will learn:

  • How to produce clean, renewable energy from the sun
  • How solar protects against rising energy costs
  • How participants significantly reduce their electric bill
  • How quickly investing in solar can pay for itself
  • How solar increases property values
  • How to access financing at competitive rates

View our on-demand webinar:

 

Current Wisconsin Solar Group Buys with Legacy Solar Co-op

Dane County Solar Group Buy (Ending soon!)

Who is eligible?

Homeowners, businesses, and nonprofit organizations anywhere in Dane County, Wisconsin.

Learn more or watch our introductory webinar for this program, linked above.

FREE Solar Assessment

Northwoods Solar Group Buy (Ending soon!)

Who is eligible?

Homeowners, businesses, and nonprofit organizations in select counties in northwest Wisconsin.

Learn more or watch our introductory webinar for this program, linked above.

FREE Solar Assessment

Iowa County Solar Group Buy

Who is eligible?

Homeowners, businesses, and nonprofit organizations in communities in Iowa County, Wisconsin.

Learn more by watching our introductory webinar for this program, linked above.

FREE Solar Assessment

Fox Valley Solar Group Buy

Who is eligible?

Homeowners, businesses, and nonprofit organizations in the Fox Valley area of Wisconsin, including Kaukauna and Oshkosh and communities in between.

Learn more by watching our introductory webinar for this program, linked above.

FREE Solar Assessment

Benefits for Solar Group Buy Participants

A solar group buy lowers the base rate for residential and small business solar projects by economy of scale. Legacy Solar Co-op works with installers to come up with a price per watt that works for them and gives an even better deal to the customer than already available savings:

  • Homeowners receive a Federal tax credit of 26% through the end of year 2022
  • Homeowners receive up to $500 in Focus on Energy rebates while funds are available and a total of $1,000 for homes that are located in rural zip codes. (Your utility may have its own rebate program if it does not participate in Focus on Energy.)
  • Nonprofit organizations are eligible to participate and may also apply for grants/funding specific to them

The group buy was an easy and relatively low-priced process for our residential solar array installation. Legacy Solar Coop was helpful with answering questions and arranging a quote from Eagle Point Solar. Arrangements for siting the array, installation and wiring to our house, as well as coordination with MG&E were all provided. We are very happy to have almost all of our electric power usage for our home and cars being produced by clean solar power right in our backyard!”

Chad MoritzMiddleton, Wisc

The Solar Group Buy Process

Here are the steps a homeowner, business owner or nonprofit might follow when participating in a Legacy Solar Co-op solar group buy:

Participate in an Educational Webinar

The Co-op hosts a series of educational workshops explaining the benefits and costs of installing a solar array on your property. These events are free and open to everyone and will be held online until we are able to hold public events. Even though these presentations are not in person, there will be opportunities to ask questions and, if desired, you can also request a one-on-one discussion after a webinar. We will post live webinar dates here or you can view the on-demand webinar any time.

Fill out a Solar Assessment Form

Not every site is a good fit for solar. We will work with you to determine whether your home or property is a good candidate for a solar array and help speed up the process for your and the installer. We walk you through the assessment process, and help you understand specifically, what a solar array can do to benefit you budget and impact on the environment. Some aspects of an assessment are done in person, but we’re happy to work with you to minimize contact.

Legacy works with each participant to complete a site evaluation that includes an assessment form, request for photos and energy data. In return, we will provide a custom solar report, which provides the approximate size of the solar array, approximate ballpark cost, and the utility savings the customer may experience.  There is no cost and we will not need to visit your home.  We want to make it easy for you to make an informed, no pressure decision to move forward.

Contract Proposal, Signing and Project Schedule

Once the assessment is passed on to the installer, they will contact you to discuss the details of the solar array you want installed, including any options you might want, the costs and when the project can be done. The installer will then send you a contract for review.

If you agree to the project, you sign the contract, and the project is scheduled.

Installation

Depending on the size, most residential solar arrays take only a few days to complete. Your installer will work with you to get the necessary permits, help with any paperwork for grants or credits, and show you how to use your new array.

Commissioning or Interconnection

Once your array is completed, you will need to work with your installer and your utility company to connect the array to the grid. Once that’s complete you have solar!

Financing Options

Need financing? Greenpenny can help. Greenpenny is a virtual and carbon-neutral bank, based in Decorah, Iowa, and dedicated to financing a sustainable tomorrow. As a thank you for participating in the solar group buy program with Legacy Solar Co-op, greenpenny will waive your $50 loan processing fee. In the referral code field of your solar loan application type LEGACY or mention your participation to your greenpenny banker.

Incorporate Solar in to Your Energy Efficiency Plan

Green Homeowners United makes it easier for homeowners to improve their property with renewable energy, energy-efficiency retrofits and water saving opportunities. If you’re thinking about adding solar to your home, and you also need to make improvements to your home to make it more energy efficient, you can actually do both pretty easily. Green Homeowners United will help you prioritize and finance the energy upgrades that will pay for themselves while also cutting carbon emissions.

Contact

Peter Fiala, Group Buy Coordinator, is more than happy to answer any questions you might have. He is reachable at peter@legacysolarcoop.org or 608-443-7820.

Would you like to Sponsor a Solar Group Buy in your Community?

Legacy Solar Co-op is in the planning stages with solar group buys in other parts of the state. If you are interested in starting a group buy in your community or have questions, read our Infosheet for Sponsors and contact us with any questions.

Benefits for Sponsors

  • No fee
  • Name recognition in the community
  • Specific progress for community sustainability goals
  • Promotes your community’s reputation as a place that supports green energy initiatives

Join our email list for solar group buy updates and to be notified when new webinar sessions become available.