Solar power is so prevalent in California that its residents often don’t realize that people in other parts of the country face difficulties when tying to get panels installed on their homes. You wouldn’t think it, but our nation’s capital has been somewhat  behind when it comes to providing solar options to its residents, but a few dedicated citizens have pushed for some major changes.

In 2006, Anya Schoolman of Washington, D.C.’s Mount Pleasant neighborhood began to investigate how she could have solar panels installed on her roof. It turned out to be a complicated and frustrating endeavor, as there were few contractor and government incentives. As a result, the prices that she was quoted were unaffordable.

Instead of giving up on her hopes of having a home that ran on clean energy, Schoolman brought in her neighbors for assistance. In 2007, the residents of Mount Pleasant formed a solar co-op.

“It really made a difference doing it as a group,” Schoolman told The Associated Press. “We helped each other all along the way, you know, choosing the installer, the installation . Everything was new back then. As a group, we just had much more bargaining power.”

She added that working with other members of her community made it easier for everyone to obtain permits and made solar a more affordable energy option. S​choolman’s work isn’t limited to her neighborhood, though. She has worked with community leaders in other areas of the District and suburban Maryland and Virginia to develop their own solar co-ops.

California residents interested in learning more about the benefits of residential solar should contact West Coast Solar today!