Energy Efficiency, Solar, Sourcing Renewables  -  February 27, 2019

Solarize Philly hits Phase 3

The Philadelphia Energy Authority (PEA) has reached Phase 3 of Solarize Philly, a group-buying program to promote residential solar. The PEA has issued an RFP to solicit business information and pricing proposals from solar PV installers that are interested in delivering cost-competitive rooftop solar installations to Philadelphia homeowners in 2019, on the basis of which it expects to select multiple installers.

PEA launched Solarize Philly in April 2017 as a citywide program with seed funding and technical assistance through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar In Your Community Challenge, designed to establish a scalable and replicable model to bring solar to underserved communities. According to the RFP, “The results of the first two Solarize Philly phases have put Philadelphia in the national spotlight for solar growth. Solarize Philly was the largest single solarize campaign, Philadelphia was 4th in the country for 2017 solar growth, and solar installer was declared a High Priority Occupation for Philadelphia County.

Across the two phases of the program, 4,237 interested households signed up, 1,926 were referred to the selected installers, and 363 homeowners signed solar installation contracts for a total of 1.6 MW of distributed solar capacity. The program enabled a $5.8 million investment in rooftop residential solar in Philadelphia, with 92% of participants saying they would not have gone solar on their own. PEA noted that the participant intake and management resulted in much higher close rates than is typical of other lead generation sources, averaging at 21% across the selected installers in Phase 2.

The deadline to submit an intent to respond to the RFP is March 11 with proposals to be submitted by March 25. Installer selections will be announced on April 5.

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