The Challenge: Increase Adoption of Small-Scale Solar Electricity
Lack of consumer education and trusted local advisors, coupled with high total costs for installation (due in part to installers’ substantial marketing expenses), can limit residential and small-business adoption of solar PV and complementary technologies. Could costs be reduced and interest increased via community-led education and marketing campaigns?
About Solarize Massachusetts and Solarize Mass Plus
Solarize Massachusetts (Solarize Mass) offered communities the tools to run community grassroots marketing campaigns and competitive solicitation processes that aggregated homeowner buying power to lower installation prices for participants. With a solicitation process facilitated by MassCEC, each participating community competitively selected a preferred solar photovoltaic ("PV") installation company to be a partner in the campaign. Participating homeowners and business owners could purchase the solar PV systems directly or, if offered, enter into lease or power purchase agreements with the installer.
Solarize Mass Plus built upon the success of Solarize Mass. It employed a similar strategy to incorporate complementary carbon-reducing technologies -- such as heat pumps, battery storage, electric vehicles, and solar hot water systems -- along with solar electricity. MassCEC facilitated a competitive solicitation process in which the participating community selected both a solar installation company and a vendor for the "plus” technology or technologies.
- Solarize Mass resulted in almost 20,000 individuals expressing interest in pursuing solar electricity and other clean energy technology systems. More than 3,700 residents and business owners in 85 communities signed contracts resulting in over 25.66 megawatts of contracted capacity.
- The number of small-scale solar electricity projects doubled in almost every participating community.
- The Solarize Mass Plus program resulted in the contracting of an additional 111 clean energy installations.
Solarize Mass Pilot and Year 1 Summaries (2011-2012)
If you are interested in running a Solarize- or HeatSmart-style campaign in your community, the Solarize-HeatSmart Toolkit can help! The Toolkit includes materials to assist in community outreach, marketing, installer selection, campaign management, event planning, and campaign wrap-up and analysis.
Solarize Mass Community Marketing Proposals
Solarize Mass community marketing proposals from 2012 through 2020 are provided below to assist those considering different strategies for implementing a Solarize or similar clean energy adoption campaign. Developing a marketing proposal prior to the launch of a campaign can provide a useful roadmap and may improve program results.
2013 Round 2
- Great Barrington-Egremont
Additional Guidance and Financial Resources
If you would like to speak with MassCEC for guidance, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can set up a time to speak with you. We may also be able to provide you with contacts in the communities that ran Solarize campaigns.
While MassCEC no longer has funding for Solarize Mass or Solarize Plus programs, if your Massachusetts community is a a designated Green Community, it may be eligible for funding to help subsidize the cost of running a Solarize-style program through a Green Communities grant. For more information on eligibility, please contact your Green Communities coordinator or visit the MA Department of Energy Resources' Green Communities program.