Frasier family for Co op Community solar PR for website3

VEC's Co-op Community Solar Attracts Sponsors, But Still Has Room

August 9, 2018

Johnson, VT- Almost two years after VEC launched its Co-op Community Solar Program, more than 130 VEC members have sponsored solar panels and have begun saving money on their electricity bills.

“This solar program is unusual – it’s non-profit, convenient, and flexible – and that’s part of the reason it’s seen steady interest,” said Jake Brown, energy services planner at VEC. “And, there’s still room for members to sign up and take advantage of savings,” Brown said.

Sarah and Allan Frasier of Newport were early participants in the program. For some time, the couple had been thinking about how to generate solar electricity, but the house and property they own on Maple Street simply didn’t have enough space for panels. Then they found out they could sponsor panels in community arrays off-site, in Hinesburg, Grand Isle, and Alburgh.

“One day we got an email about VEC’s program and we jumped on it,” said Sarah Frasier. The next year, they added more panels to their sponsorship because they’d just bought an electric car and wanted to offset the cost of charging the car.  “You put up the money up front, and you get it back – plus,” Frasier said. “Even if you can’t put solar up at your house, you can still get the benefit.”

Under the program, members come out ahead financially as the total of the bill credits exceeds the original upfront payment.

Here are some hypothetical scenarios:

  • A member sponsoring 20 panels for 10 years would make an upfront payment of $4,695. That member would get bill credits every month for 10 years, totaling $6,528.
  • A member sponsoring 20 panels for 20 years would make an upfront payment of $8,250.80. That member would get bill credits every month for 20 years, totaling $14,976.

“Co-op Community Solar provides solid financial value and has the added benefit of putting clean electricity onto the local electric grid,” said VEC’s Brown said.

Participants can opt out of the program any time, and receive back a portion of their initial payment based on how long they have participated in the program. This gives flexibility to people who move out of VEC territory or simply change their mind and want to get out of the program.

For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit www.vermontelectric.coop/community-solar or call 1-800-832-2667.