Solar Energy Powers D.C. Suburb's Co-op

Solar Energy Powers D.C. Suburb's Co-op

Harnessing the power of the sun at the lowest rates possible is the goal of a new solar cooperative in Bowie, Maryland.

The goal of the co-op is to use collective buying power to get discounted prices for residential solar power systems.

Saving energy while saving money sounds like a win-win plan.

The Bowie Solar Co-op will include home owners in the area who would like to purchase solar systems together. Two meetings are scheduled in the coming weeks to discuss the formation.

The co-op is being organized by the city of Bowie, Community Power Network and the Maryland Sun project.

Solar energy heats up in Maryland

The plan in Bowie is just the latest example of the state’s interest in solar industry.

“Maryland’s solar industry is growing in a big way,” says Rhone Resch, president and CEO of Solar Energy Industries Association. “Contributing to this rapid growth are smart and effective public policies, which are enabling more and more Marylanders to choose clean, renewable solar energy.”

In 2013, SEIA reports that $113 million was invested in Maryland to install solar for home, business and utility use, and there are currently more than 151 solar companies at work throughout the state.

There is enough solar energy installed in the state to power 20,000 homes.

Nationwide, the solar industry employs 143,000 Americans and pumps nearly a billion dollars a year into the U.S. economy. But solar also benefits the environment.

“Every three minutes of every single day, the U.S. solar industry is helping to fight the battle against damaging carbon emissions by flipping the switch on another completed solar project,” Resch says.

Proper installation key to optimum efficiency

A highly rated local solar panel professional can help you achieve the best results from your solar panels from installation to placement.

Typically, solar panels are installed on a rooftop, but can be placed anywhere that sunlight is plentiful.

This is relatively easy to configure in new home construction, but many existing roofs don't have the ideal exposure or incline.

Solar panels can still collect energy if facing west or east, but not as efficiently and so the pay-off time increases. If you're curious how much solar panels cost in the D.C. area and what tax rebates are available, try this calculator.

It can be less expensive to install panels in an open, treeless field. That way, they can be arrayed in support structures with the precise exposure and incline to be most effective.

For a complete explanation of solar panels for your home, check out this informative guide.

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