Sarasota County partners encouraging homeowner participation in solar energy co-op

Registration open until May 1; information session set for Feb. 24

Image from the nonprofit’s website

The League of Women Voters of Sarasota, along with the Manatee-Sarasota Sierra Club, the Sarasota Classified/Teachers Association, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota, the Florida House Institute, the Gulf Coast Foundation and the Barancik Foundation have partnered in supporting the expansion of rooftop solar installations in Sarasota County through the establishment of a solar energy co-op, the organizations have announced.

Members of the public may join the co-op until May 1, a news release points out.

“The role of the partners in this endeavor is to get the word out to local homeowners about this group-buying opportunity,” the release says.

“The cost of rooftop solar installations has declined by 25% over the past few years, while the cost of utility-provided energy has continued to rise,” the release points out. The role of the nonprofit FL SUN co-op is to provide educational support to community residents, write a Request for Proposals to be distributed to local and state installers, and help co-op members establish an evaluation committee to select a vendor, the release adds.

Although a single installer will be chosen, homeowners will be able to select one of several options, with different price-points, the release notes. “This will enable homeowners to select a customized system that meets their particular requirements,” the release explains. “In the recent past, homeowners have saved approximately 20% by participating in this group-buying co-op,” it adds.

The Sarasota FL SUN co-op launched its Sarasota County initiative on Jan. 4 with a press conference held at the Florida House Institute in Sarasota.

Two “heavily-attended information sessions” took place in mid-January, the release adds; a final session is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Feb. 24 at Twin Lakes Park in Sarasota. Interested homeowners may sign up for this session or register to participate in the co-op at

Additional information is available via newsletter and emails by registering at