“Solarize” campaigns are a growing grassroots movement to bring the benefits of solar energy to residential communities through collective purchasing agreements. The Solarize movement began in one neighborhood in Portland, Oregon, in 2009 and has now spread to more than 150 communities throughout Portland and across Oregon and the rest of the United States. Even in areas not traditionally considered “sunny” like the Pacific Northwest and the Northeast, residential solar installations have become an increasingly popular energy source.
The basic concept of Solarize is that a small group bands together to purchase solar photovoltaics in bulk from a solar installation contractor. Each Solarize initiative negotiates volume discounts with contractors and offers different financing options to homeowner participants, which in turn makes solar energy affordable and convenient for both the contractor and the individual homeowners.