How to Solarize Your Street: Starting a Solar Coop

Solar coop community photo
Video screen capture. The Center for a New American Dream

The Center for a New American Dream/Video screen capture

"We said to the boys, if we are going to go to the trouble of solarizing our house. We're going to do the whole street."

From community solar gardens in DC to collective purchasing of solar by farmers in Africa, the idea of banding together to decrease costs and increase the impact of renewable energy investments is hardly new.

Now the good folks at The Center for a New American Dream—the same folks who brought us videos on time trading as an alternative to money and how to set up tool libraries and clothes swaps—have released a video detailing how one group of DC residents came together to reduce costs and provide peer support for households going solar.

The result, say the founders of Mt. Pleasant Solar Cooperative has been 10% of the street already going solar, and similar coops springing up elsewhere. But as I noted in my post about neighbors meeting to compare energy bills, such groups can be a catalyst for much broader social change. The more we learn to talk, cooperate and maybe even share with our neighbors, the stronger our communities become.

These videos are just one part of The Center for a New American Dream's Community Action Kits—watch out for more as they role these out in the coming weeks.