Put Switch's "Bulk Purchasing" Power to Work for Your Neighborhood
When a group of neighbors decide they want affordable solar power systems on their houses and are willing to purchase at the same time, everyone can benefit from economies of scale.
By starting a neighborhood buying group, you can:
- Generate volume discounts for neighbors and friends
- Hold a "green sale" to raise funds for a neighborhood cause (Switch makes a sizeable donation to your cause for every sale you generate.)
- "Green" a community building or common space
- Combine these ideas
We'll provide you with materials, schedule presentations in your neighborhood, and put up a webpage to track progress towards your goals.
Our Thoughts about Neighborhood Co-ops
Switch played an integral role in of one of the D.C. area’s first neighborhood co-ops, in the Mt. Pleasant section of the District. In fact, after all the other solar installers disappeared, we were the only one who stuck with the co-op through negotiations with PEPCO and the District government. That’s how much we believe in the idea of “greening neighborhoods.”
From that experience, and from talking with others, we’ve come to some conclusions about the difficulties of forming a formal entity like a co-op for buying solar:
1. There is potential legal liability in a person or a small group making a purchasing decision for a larger group.
2. While groups can have a common goal, residential houses and installations are individual in nature – even among houses that were built at the same time. It’s impossible to come up with a single solution that’s optimal for everyone.
3. While many people like to have options narrowed and vendors vetted for them, few want the final buying decisions made for them.
So, while we continue to believe in group purchasing, we suggest keeping things simple. We’re glad to come out and make presentations to groups and discount our pricing based on how many people decide to buy from us. Those who don’t decide to buy from us will still learn about solar lighting, whether it makes sense and is affordable for them, what questions to ask other contractors, what to look for in a well-designed system, and how to choose a contractor.