Free Signup Deadline is Oct. 31; Coalition Also Advances New Income-Qualified Program
Oct. 31 is the deadline for local residents and commercial building owners to enroll for a free evaluation under the Solarize Kansas City campaign, which offers group purchasing on solar energy and battery storage to all Kansas City-metro area residents and businesses.
Since May, more than 575 residents have enrolled for an evaluation to advance toward potentially owning a system through this community discount program.
Solarize Kansas City was developed and launched by a coalition of local organizations, community members, and the KCMO government to help make this form of renewable energy more accessible and affordable to all.
While the deadline to sign up for a free evaluation is Monday, Oct. 31, residents actually have until Dec. 31 to assess their free proposal and the estimated cost for a home rooftop system, then make a decision whether to enter into a contract. Owners of commercial buildings have somewhat longer, until March 31, 2023, to enter into a contract due to the complexity of large building systems.
The campaign – based on a unique community group-purchasing model – recently reached its eighth and final progressively lower-priced tier since its launch in the Spring. Tier 8 lowers the cost down to $2.55/watt.
In addition, the newly passed Inflation Reduction Act means that federal tax credits have increased to 30 percent in savings for newly-installed solar energy systems and batteries.
Since the campaign’s inception, 56 property owners have completed contracts, comprising 406 in total kW of solar power generated through the program. Once these systems are fully installed and operational, the equivalent of 711,000 lbs. of carbon emissions will have been avoided annually in Kansas City.
Share the Sun Introduced
In addition to the Solarize campaign, a pathway for low-income homeowners in Kansas City, MO making less than 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI) may be available soon. This extends beyond the basic Solarize initiative by offering a grant program to further support those identified in need, bringing affordability, access, and equity to others as a means to lower their household energy bills.
“In working at Jerusalem Farm, I have had the opportunity to be in many people's homes and have seen just how close to not having electricity many homeowners are,” said Adam Rossi of Jerusalem Farm. “There are a few homeowners who had their electricity completely turned off, and many others who have electricity but struggle to make ends meet and pay their bills each month. Share the Sun is one piece of the puzzle to help these people get out of a cycle of difficult circumstances.”
There are a few simple steps to sign up for Share the Sun Solar online. Fill out the "Do I Qualify?" form here by Oct. 31, 2022.
Funding levels are pending. Depending on funding availability, a representative from Solarize Kansas City Share the Sun will contact you to go over your eligibility, which includes your income, roof condition, sun exposure, and other criteria. More information about the program is available here.
For those in the community who wish to support this program and “Share the Sun” with others in need, there is a donation option available online. All contributions will be tax-deductible.
The coalition of organizations involved in developing and partnering together to ensure Solarize KC
is a success include: the City of Kansas City, MO; Kansas City Public Library; Metropolitan Energy Center; USGBC – Central Plains; Climate+Energy Project; Missouri Chapter of the Sierra Club; Westside Housing; Greenwood Consulting Group LLC; Center for Neighborhoods; Jerusalem Farm; and MY REGION WINS!, along with support from Solar Crowdsource. Following a rigorous selection process evaluating price, quality of materials, and service, Sun Solar was chosen to lead and execute the proposal, contract and installation process.
Solar energy is carbon free, makes homes and businesses more climate-resilient, and can stimulate local economic growth. Interested residents may go to solarizekansascity.com to learn more about the program and sign up for free – with no obligation – prior to the Oct. 31 deadline.
About Solarize KC: Solarize Kansas City is a campaign forged and supported by a local public-private coalition involving the City of Kansas City, MO; Kansas City Public Library; Metropolitan Energy Center; USGBC – Central Plains; Climate+Energy Project; Missouri Chapter of the Sierra Club; Westside Housing; Greenwood Consulting Group LLC, Center for Neighborhoods, Jerusalem Farm, and MY REGION WINS!, with support from Solar Crowdsource
Lowering the cost of solar-energy and battery-storage installations through the power of bulk purchasing, reducing contractor acquisition costs, and transferring those savings to residential and commercial residents is the goal of the campaign, which launched in May 2022.
Andy Savastino, Chief Environmental Officer, City of Kansas City