Solar United Neighbors

Solar United Neighbors

Another deadline has been extended to consider joining the latest Indiana County Solar Co-op.

The nonprofit Solar United Neighbors said the new deadline is March 1.

SUN’s efforts coincide with those of G.E.T. Solar: Indiana, a program led by the PA Solar Center, which is designed to learn about the benefits and savings of solar energy for one’s business or nonprofit. It is taking applications through Feb. 27.

“This (2023) will be a big year for solar, thanks to the increased solar tax credit and new incentives available to farms and businesses in coal country,” said Monica Carey, Pennsylvania program associate for SUN. The solar co-op will ensure people can benefit from every solar incentive available.”

The Inflation Reduction Act passed by Congress and signed by President Biden on Aug. 16, 2022, updates the tax credit for electric vehicles and raises the tax credit for homeowners who install solar from 26 percent to 30 percent.

As was the case with co-ops launched in 2019 and 2020, which helped 26 homeowners install 289 kilowatts of solar power, this co-op is free to join and open to homeowners and business owners in Indiana County.

SUN stressed that joining is not a commitment to purchase solar panels. 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, the co-op members once again selected Altoona-based solar installer Groundhog Solar LLC to serve the group after reviewing information about pricing, quality, and service.

Groundhog Solar will provide each co-op member with an individualized proposal based on the group rate.

“SUN provided so much education about solar technology and helped me to anticipate what going solar would mean for me financially,” said Dr. Jonathan Warnock, a former Indiana County Solar Co-op member and Indiana Borough councilman. “I knew I would be getting a great deal and taking advantage of all the available incentives because I was part of the solar co-op.”

By going solar as a group and choosing a single installer, SUN said its members can save off the cost of going solar and have the support of fellow group members and solar experts.

“Being in the co-op meant that I had a lot of support,” said Cindy Rogers, a former Indiana County Solar Co-op member. “Together, we chose our installer. SUN answered our questions before, during, and after the installation.”

SUN said its efforts can save homeowners thousands of dollars on their investment in solar. The co-op will also offer pricing for electric vehicle or EV chargers and batteries.