Ann Arbor Solarize
Have you seen this yard sign? Do you want to learn more about solar installations? Do you want to have solar installed on your property? Then check out Ann Arbor Solarize!
What is Ann Arbor Solarize?
Ann Arbor Solarize is a community bulk-buy solar program. We gather neighbors and friends together, along with participating solar installers, to learn about residential solar, get questions answered, and provide the option to come together to bulk purchase solar - allowing for significant savings.
As part of the City of Ann Arbor’s A2ZERO carbon neutrality plan, the Ann Arbor Office of Sustainability and Innovations works with local and regional solar installers - as well as Michigan Saves, a non-profit green bank that facilitates low-interest financing for green upgrades such as solar installations - to offer this exciting program.
To learn more, check out our Solarize FAQ.
Why Participate in Solarize?
The benefits are robust for individuals, the community, and the planet. The costs of solar have come down significantly over the last decade, panel efficiency is better than ever, and congress just extended the 26% federal tax credit that was in the process of sunsetting, so all installations in 2021 and 2022 now qualify. In combination with the bulk-buy savings realized through Solarize, this means that residents can access this green energy source with greater ease.
How Can I Participate?
Our participating installers have all agreed to tiered discounts, depending on the number of participants in a Solarize event. These discounts are available due to the savings realized by both reduced outreach costs for the installers and the ability to place bulk orders on parts.
To learn more or to sign-up for a Solarize event, see the event information below or contact Julie Roth, the Ann Arbor Solarize program coordinator, at [email protected].
Upcoming Solarize Events
Ann Arbor Solar Stories
This one-hour virtual event is hosted by the GLREA on the first Thursday of each month. Join us to hear from Ann Arborites who have gone solar, and have a chance to ask them all your questions! Register for the GLREA's "Thursday Night Energy Events" to receive meeting links.
Buhr Park & Friends Solarize - FULL
The Buhr Park Solarize group-buy is full - however, several more groups are in the process of forming for the fall and winter! Contact Julie Roth for more information or to be added to our Solarize mailing list.
Recent Solarize Events
The Orchard Hills - Maplewood neighborhood Solarize group-buy meeting was held on Sunday, August 1st. This group-buy is full.
This webinar was a chance for folks to come learn about solar for their homes, the Solarize program, energy efficiency and electrification, and how it all relates to the goals of A2ZERO. Emerging science around indoor air quality and gas stoves was also discussed. This webinar was recorded and is available on YouTube.
Workshop: Batteries for Backup Power
Batteries combined with solar make for climate-friendly back-up power during an outage! In August, we heard from some installers and homeowners about how it all works, and their experiences powering their homes with solar + batteries. A recording of the event is available here.
Return to Top of Page
Did you know? You can improve the impact of your solar panels by starting with energy efficiency improvements that reduce the total energy usage of your home! This will also cut costs on household energy expenses. You can find more information about energy efficiency on our Sustainability at Home webpage
The City of Ann Arbor offers expedited solar permitting
for most residential installations. Only an electric permit is required, and we do not charge for line item solar fees, application fees, or plan reviews. Learn whether you are eligible for an expedited permit by filling out the eligibility checklist in step 2 of our solar permit application
Solar Maps and Potential
Investigate your property’s solar potential on Project Sunroof
or explore Ann Arbor’s solar potential here
. You can also consider using any of the following tools to estimate your solar potential:
- Sun Number: Enter your address to find your estimated solar capacity, impact, and savings.
- PV Watts Calculator: Enter information about your electricity use to run simulations on solar generation and costs throughout the year.
- Energy Sage: Estimate payback periods and get quotes for your home from multiple solar installers online. Enter your address, and Energy Sage will contact you as they receive quotes from local contractors.
Return to Top of Page
Finding a Contractor
Join an Ann Arbor Solarize
event to find an installer and get a discount on going solar. If, however, you'd prefer to move forward on your own, you can find a solar contractor (or two) to assess your home for solar energy and provide a bid. Certified practitioners can be found through Michigan Saves’ list of authorized contractors
. Also, check out these resources:
Return to Top of Page
Financing, Incentives, and Tax Credits
Typically solar installations are paid for through loans or cash, with Federal incentives available. There is a federal income tax deduction of 26% that applies to all installations performed in 2021 and 2022.
City of Ann Arbor Solar Projects
Preserving the health and sustainability of our climate has been valued by the Ann Arbor community for many years. It is important for the City to lead by example, and so the City has installed solar power at several municipal locations, and is investigating further installations. Learn more about these City solar installations below.
Fire Station 6
Fire Station 6 near Briarwood Mall is the first City facility to come close to being net zero, with a solar installation that matches energy consumption during peak times.
Ann Arbor Farmer's Market
Solar energy provides around one-third of the Kerrytown Farmer's Market's annual electricity usage.
Landfill Solar Project
The City is currently exploring a 22-24MW solar installation on a former landfill. This project is currently undergoing technical review, and more details will be available soon. For now, check out this FAQ to learn more about the potential project.
Return to Top of Page
Real-Time Solar Installation Data
Source: City of Ann Arbor permitting data. Excludes state-permitted properties.