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Solar Co-op Op-Ed

If you live in Cuyahoga and have been thinking about solar for your home, time is running out to take advantage of the 30% federal tax credit. At the end of this year it will drop to 26%, then 22%, and then disappear. But never fear! The Cuyahoga County Solar Co-op program makes it easier than ever to install solar on your home or business. This group buying program for Cuyahoga county residents, paired with the existing federal solar tax credit offers home and business owners great savings on solar installation.

This is a free program sponsored by the Cuyahoga county department of sustainability. Through the co-op, residents are able to participate in a bulk purchasing agreement which on its own gives residents a discount of between 15 and 20%. This bulk pricing is not available to the general public and can only be obtained through the Solar Co-op. Low interest loans available to eligible homeowners will also be discussed at the Co-op meeting.

The first step of joining the co-op is to attend a co-op meeting and learn about how solar works in Ohio and how it has helped other members of the community. After you sign up for the program an analysis will be done of your home and determine if your house is suitable for solar. Assuming it is, the co-op will design a plan and come up with a price. If you decide to move forward, the work will be started before the end of the year. The 30% tax credit expires at the end of the year, if you began construction before then you can still participate. The solar co-op takes care of all the permitting for you and will walk you through the installation process.

Over 80 businesses and homeowners in Cuyahoga County have gone solar through the co-op. Mike Foley, the director of sustainability at Cuyahoga County had solar installed on his home. It provides between 30 and 40% of his family’s electricity. “It’s an individual act to help reduce the energy cost in the long term, make your home more valuable and also do something good for the environment.” Said Foley. “ Think of it as a triple win in terms of ecology, costs and value.”

The dates of our information sessions are September 24th at Melt Bar and Grilled in Independence, September 25th at Paragon Wine bar in Euclid, and September 26th at Michael J. Zone Recreation center in Cleveland. All meetings are at 6 PM.

Author - Cuyahoga County Sustanability Office

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