About Solarize Houston
Solarize Houston started as a grassroots, volunteer, non-profit group organizing Houstonians in a group purchase of solar panels and installation for residents and businesses in Houston. Now joining with the non-profit Solar United Neighbors, our mission is to increase awareness and accelerate the use of solar energy for electricity generation in Houston. The Solarize program was modeled on similar efforts, including in Plano and elsewhere.
To join our mailing list send your email address firstname.lastname@example.org for program updates.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who was Solarize Houston?
A grassroots volunteer organization.
Why has Solarize Houston joined with Solar United Neighbors?
To accelerate the adoption of solar energy for electricity generation in Houston. We are asking for quality installation services with a group discount in exchange for some number of qualified and educated customers that are all in a small geographic area.
Will HREG make any money on this project?
For every member who ends up installing solar, Solar United Neighbors collects $600 from the installer. A portion of that is distributed to HREG.
If I join a Solar Co-op, am I obligated to purchase a system?
No. When you join, we consider you made a commitment to learning about solar. It is completely up to you to decide to install solar PV and sign a contract with the selected company.
How is the solar installation company selected for the Solar Co-op project?
Solar United Neighbors prepares a Request for Proposal (“RFP”) and encourages area solar installation companies to submit their proposals. A Selection Committee of Co-op members review those proposals and select a company for the project.
Can my homeowners’ association prohibit me from installing a solar system?
Section 202.010 of the Texas Property Code limits the ability of homeowners associations (“HOA”) to prohibit its residents from installing rooftop solar systems that conform to the slope of the roof and have a top edge that is parallel to the roofline and have a support bracket, or visible piping or wiring that is in a silver, bronze, or black tone commonly available in the marketplace. In addition, the resident may place the solar system in a location other than that specified by the HOA if the resident’s alternate location increases the estimated annual energy production of the device, as determined by using a publicly available modeling tool provided by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, by more than 10 percent above the energy production of the device is located in an area designated by the HOA. See the statute for other important provisions.
I am interested in a Solar Co-op, but I don’t live in Houston?
Check out SolarUnitedNeighbors.org/Texas to learn about other solarize projects starting to shine all across Texas.”
Solarize Houston, now in its third year, achieves a discount for Houstonians through group purchasing of solar systems installed at their homes. The program involves:
- Purchasers’ Committee competitively selecting the Installer.
- Participants enrolling in the program (There is NO COMMITMENT until the participant actually enters into a contract with the solar installer AND NO COST).
- Selected Solar Installer evaluates the potential participants’ suitability of their home for a solar system, including their energy use, the layout of their roofs and cost.
- Participants individually finalizing an installment contract with the Selected Solar Installer. Price saving are realized when tiered goals of solar sold are met. The more solar sold, the lower the price for all participants!
Solarize Houston invites you to review information on this website, reach out to SolarizeHouston@outlook.com with any questions, schedule a neighborhood information session if desired, and, or simply, enroll in the program.
About Solar Systems:
The websites of trade associations, non-governmental organizations and others contain FAQs and other useful information:
- The Solar Energy Industry Association (“SEIA”)
- Solar Energy Net
- Go Solar California
- About the Solarize concept
- Here is a great short article by American Solar Energy Society about the basics of solar. It provides a good general overview
- Texas Solar Outfitters presentation at Houston Renewable Energy Network on January 14
- pvwatts.nrel.gov has a tool to calculate energy production and costs for solar systems at your site.