City officials say Bexley’s participation in a new solar-energy cooperative program administered by the city of Columbus can reduce costs for Bexley residents who purchase solar panels.
Bexley Mayor Ben Kessler announced July 12 that Bexley will join Columbus and Solar United Neighbors of Ohio to provide group bulk purchasing for solar energy and installation.
“This program is powerful because it’s one prong among many prongs to help us confront, tackle and solve a climate crisis that’s impacting us throughout the world, in a very local, very community-based way,” Kessler said.
The cooperative program is the result of years of work by the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission and Solar United Neighbors, a nationwide network of communities and organizations to make solar energy more accessible to residents and businesses, Kessler said.
SUN’s central Ohio branch, Solar United Neighbors of Ohio, has launched the Columbus Area Solar Co-Op. The initiative aims to bring Franklin County and surrounding area homeowners together into a group known as a co-op, and to provide support through each stage of the process of installing solar panels and related equipment, said Elizabeth Ellman, Bexley’s sustainability programs coordinator.
“There’s going to be residents participating from all over the Columbus area, and they’re going to go to bid as a collective group, so they’ll be able to access competitive pricing,” she said.
Ellman said Columbus and Solar United Neighbors of Ohio are administering the Columbus Area Solar Co-Op, and Bexley is simply a member.
Solar energy is part of a larger strategy that Columbus is employing to increase energy efficiency and promote environmental sustainability in the region, said Emmanuel Remy, chair of Columbus City Council’s environmental committee.
Columbus also announced joining the co-op July 12.
“Transitioning to clean, renewable energy – specifically solar – is a huge strategy for our Columbus and central Ohio community to reach its climate goals,” he said. “As we saw with the recent heatwave and power outages in June, combating climate change and having access to clean, reliable, local energy sources is critical and provides community and energy grid resilience.”
Residents can sign up to receive assistance with solar panel installation by visiting Solarunitedneighbors.org.
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