Solarize Davis, a “group deal” headed by Daniel Parrella, founder of Spearhead Solar, is ready to move into its proposal phase with 135 homeowners signed up.
Solarize Davis signed a contract with REC Solar, a solar installation company, to begin the proposal process with its members.
Solarize functions a lot “like Groupon,” Parrella said. “Because a guaranteed amount of people are buying the product, we can discount the price.”
“The selected base price of $5.45 a watt is 30 percent below the current market value of $7.77 a watt,” Parrella said in a press release. “The price becomes even better when you factor in the 30 percent federal tax credit and the 35 cents per watt rebate from PG&E.”
Davis City Councilmember Stephen Souza said for those already interested in solar, “You get a fantastic price on it, and there are also a lot of great state rebates and tax cuts available. For anyone seeking to lower their utility bill, it’s the way to go.”
Heath Hutchinson, marketing operations manager for REC Solar, said homeowners who sign up for Solarize receive a free solar assessment and energy audit. REC uses the assessment and audit results to design a proposal, which includes “projected price, energy savings and bill offset projections” for the home.
To participate in the promotion, homeowners must decide to install by Nov. 18, or the group pricing goes away.
Of the Solarize business model, Souza said, “Anytime a group can pull together and increase purchasing power, that’s great.”
“Davis doesn’t really need a lot of promotion for solar but it has a lot of hunger for it, and any way we can get that capability in the hands of the homeowners, we should do that,” Souza said. “There are multiple other avenues, but the more there are, the better we are as a city.”
Hutchinson said Parrella began marketing Solarize in June, asking homeowners in different communities whether they would be interested in investing in solar if they received preferred pricing from a reputable local vendor. Parrella received good responses from Davis homeowners, Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson also said another part of Parrella’s process was assessing different solar companies for their capabilities, then having top choices engage in a formal bidding. REC is glad to have won, Hutchinson said.
“With a flawless installation record in Davis, the best group deal pricing as well as a low-cost financing option, REC Solar was the clear choice,” Parrella said in a press release.
Hutchinson said that one of the main draws of REC Solar was their offer of alternate financing options such as a Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA).
“Instead of purchasing the panels directly, you pay monthly for the power that is generated,” Parrella said in a press release. “Monthly financing options such as PPA’s are rapidly becoming the norm for homeowners who want to avoid the upfront cost all together.”
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