The Solarize Guidebook: A community guide to collective purchasing of residential PV systems

From Open Energy Information


This document provides lessons learned from the Solarize campaign, a grassroots effort that began in Portland, Oregon to install residential solar photovoltaic installations in neighborhood-level communities. The document describes the key features of the Solarize campaigns in Portland communities, as well as lessons learned from these and other communities beyond Portland that have implemented their own Solarize programs. In the Solarize model, communities of homeowners band together to drive don costs and install residential-scale PV systems over a six month period. This lessons learned document provides insights regarding how communities wishing to replicate the Solarize model can involve diverse stakeholders, establish a vision and adapt RFPs based on community values, and work with local organizations and contractors to implement the program. Outreach and education is heavily emphasized.

Community Information
Name Portland, Oregon
Type City;#Other;#Neighborhood developments
Community Energy Goals Portland and Multnomah County's goal is to reduce carbon emissions 80% from 1990 levels by 2050, with an interim goal of a 40% reduction in emissions by 2030 (source:
Baseline 8,599,508 metric tons in 1990 (source:
Results to Date In 2009, Portland's emissions were 2% below 1990 levels, and per capita emissions had fallen by 20% (source:


This document itemizes lessons learned by each Solarize method and includes broad lessons learned from all the different programs, allowing the reader to gain an understanding both of the range of options for implementing this type of program as well as the benefits and challenges associated with the model in general. The document also includes a proposed schedule, sample budget, and roles and responsibilities of the different players involved in implementing this type of program.

Environmental Aspects

The original Solarize Southeast campaign installed solar on 120 homes, adding 350 kilowatts of new PV capactiy and producing an estimated 359,000kWh of electricity per year. The project provided 18 professional jobs.

Related Tools

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  1.  "The Solarize Guidebook: A community guide to collective purchasing of residential PV systems"