A special thanks to NREL for the banner photograph.

Ready to GO Solar?

This guide from the U.S. Department of Energy can help answer almost any question you have about going solar: A Consumer’s Guide: Get Your Power from the Sun

Solar bulk purchases, called Solarize or Solar Co-op Programs, are a great way to go solar for less. Solar bulk purchases organize a group of residents to go solar at the same time, which achieve a discount - usually 15-25% - on the installation price. Solarize and Solar Co-op Programs also provide excellent resources to answer your questions.

Community Power Network runs many solar co-ops in the DC area through: 

If you live in Northern Virginia, you may be eligible to join the Solarize NoVA program, which also provides a free home energy check-up.

Learn more about Solar Ready Metro D.C.'s Solarize Initiative on our Impact page. OR Learn more about the sucessess of our Solarlize Campaign on our Impact page. 

Step 1:

Is There A bulk Purchase Opportunity in the area? 


How do i Assess my Property?

Take a look at your roof! A great first stop for anyone interested in solar, PV Watts is a free online tool that estimates the amount of electricity you can produce with a solar array at your home or business.

If you live in Washington, D.C., Mapdwell is a great mapping tool that can help you estimate system size, cost, revenue, payback period, and environmental benefits of a potential rooftop solar PV system for any DC address.

The NoVA Solar Map provides solar size, production and savings estimates for Northern Virginia residents and businesses. Currently under expansion, so check back soon if your community is not currently available.

Step 3: 

What Local Incentives Exist? 

The DSRIE database provides up-to-date information on clean energy incentives available in localities across the country. Incentives include a 30% federal tax credit on the installed cost of a solar PV system, in addition to any utility rebates or tax incentives available at the state and local level.

Regional Incentive Websites:


Cash, loan, lease, or other? This 4-page guide provides an overview of the options for financing a solar energy system, including a table with a side-by-side comparison on the key features of each.

Step 4:



Step 5:

Who will be the Contractor? 

EnergySage is a free online tool allowing comparison of quotes from multiple pre-screened installers. Enter your address, create a property profile, then receive quotes from qualified installers in an apples-to-apples format. From there, you can interact with the installers directly and select the best quote.

The Geostellar online solar marketplace provides free, independent cost-benefit comparisons of solar purchasing options. The tool estimates your property’s potential solar capacity using sophisticated geospatial data, recommends solar equipment based on your location and roof diagnostics, and estimates the price of various financing options, as well as your projected savings over time.

Or, you can search for contractors directly. Use NABCEP's installer locator to find service providers in your area. These installers are certified through a third-party network.


Solar renewable energy certificates or credits (SRECs), represent the “green” value of 1MW (1,000kW) of electricity produced by a solar unit. SRECs are separate from the physical electricity, and can provide an additional funding stream for solar installations. These SREC Guides from DC SUN and Maryland SUN provide a good overview of SRECs and lay out the pros and cons of available options for selling, or keeping, SRECs. This brief video from Center for Resource Solutions shows how SRECs are created, traded, and tracked.

Step 6




SRECtrade.com is a SREC trade and management firm for the spot and forward markets.

Flett Exchange is an environmental services exchange platform with an online SREC marketplac.


A special thanks to the Community Power Network for providing the pictures featured below.