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Solar United Neighbors Brings Co-Op To Denver: 'Consumer Saves A Lot'

DENVER (CBS4) - A new way to help people get rooftop solar on their home is gaining traction in Denver.

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"Solar co-op is essentially a group buy of rooftop solar for folks to be able to have a streamlined process to adopt solar as well as see the economies of scale," said Bryce Carter with Solar United Neighbors (SUN).

SUN has already set up co-ops in the Yampa Valley and in Fort Collins. Dozens of systems are now sitting on roofs, sometimes saving homeowners thousands of dollars compared to buying a solar installation system alone.

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"Through streamlining this process and installer actually saves a lot of money, the consumer saves a lot of money and then we're able to support our mission to expand solar adoption across the state," Carter said.

SUN does take a $600 fee per installation. The co-op is trying to gather more than 30 people before sending out a Request for Proposal. Based off the contract picked, hundreds of co-op members then have a choice to take the deal or not.

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"I've just been amazed at the opportunities," said Jim Theye who has become a volunteer for SUN. "There might be 40 residents spread over a several mile area and they're going to work together to get bulk pricing."

Theye hopes to take the co-op concept to commercial buildings especially around LoDo.

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"Our main focus is to be a consumer advocate. We're here to represent consumers that are looking to support solar," said Carter.

SUN is hosting another informational session on Sept. 3 at the  First Universalist Church of Denver.

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