This section includes information and resources on solar energy financing through Solarize programs.

Solarize Programs Toolkit

Solarize programs are a way for municipalities and other organizations to coordinate group purchases of solar systems through a community-based campaign. Solarize programs can lower the cost of solar installations, provide lasting increases in installation rates, and jump-start local solar markets. This toolkit provides an overview of the key issues and directs readers to comprehensive resources, best practices, and lessons learned from previously implemented Solarize campaigns.


Solarize is an effective means for communities to encourage the growth of local solar markets, and since 2009 more than 230 campaigns have been implemented in 25 states. Organizing a Solarize campaign can be a daunting task, and there is a great variety in the ways that a community could design and manage a campaign. This national survey of Solarize campaign organizers is intended to allow communities to learn from the experience of previous campaign and draw inspiration in the formation of their own campaigns. The report gauges common trends in program design, reveals the typical resource requirements and results of campaigns, and discusses common challenges and effective campaign strategies.

Solar For All: Minimum Costs to Local Governments and Maximum Solar for Their Communities

ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability U.S.A. presents a free webinar featuring the city of Beaverton, Oregon’s Solar on Reservoirs project, and Tompkins County, NY’s solarize program.

Solarize Frederick County, MD

This case study details Solarize Frederick County, a group purchasing program that ran from April to August 2013 in Frederick County, Maryland. By its close, the program far surpassed its goal of 30 households installing solar systems, with 66 households collectively installing over 500kW of solar electric systems at a volume discount of 23.7 percent compared to standard retail pricing.

Solarize North Carolina

This webinar presents a case study on how Asheville is currently creating its own Solarize program and provides an open dialogue discussing how other cities can implement their own Solarize campaigns.

Solar Case Study: Lenox, Massachusetts

Lenox, a small town in the Berkshire Hills, is a Massachusetts Green Community. As a Green Community, Lenox received grant funding from the state, and the town has invested a portion of this funding into a grant program to help residents install solar on their homes. With neighboring Pittsfield, Lenox is also participating in theSolarizeMass program, a partnership between the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, the Green Communities Division of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, and participating communities around the state.

To view this case study, click here.

Solar Case Study: Solarize

Community-Based Collective Purchasing in West Linn, Lake Oswego, and Clackamas County, Oregon In March 2012, the cities of West Linn and Lake Oswego, Oregon launched Solarize West Linn-Lake Oswego, a community-led solar initiative, supported by both cities, Clackamas County, and a grant from the city of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. Clackamas County also supported a Solarize campaign along with the county’s Oregon State University extension service – Growing Solar Clackamas County.

To view this case study, click here.

Solar Case Study: Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara, California has made solar a priority. The city has several municipal installations, a robust set of solar design guidelines, and a Solar Design Reconition Program, which recognizes excellence in design of both active and passive solar systems. The city also supported the local Solarize Santa Barbara campaign.

To view this case study, click here.

How-to Guide: Solarize Guidebook

The NREL’s “Solarize Guidebook” acts as roadmap for project planners and solar advocates trying to jump-start their own successful Solarize campaigns.

To view this guide, click here.