New co-op forms to help Miami Valley residents switch to solar power

DAYTON — Several community groups with the support of the city of Dayton and Montgomery County shared a plan to help people save money on energy costs.

The new organization is called “Solar United Neighbors” and it is recruiting customers to install solar panels on their homes and businesses.

The new energy cooperative is about encouraging people to install electric vehicle charges to meet the upswing of electric vehicle sales.

They are also making a big push for people to switch to solar power.

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“The Miami Valley cooperative will offer people the chance to go solar at a discount through the power of bulk purchasing,” Myria Williams with Solar United Neighbors said.

Solar United Neighbors said they expand access to solar by “educating Ohio residents about the benefits of distributed solar, helping them organize group solar installations, and strengthening Ohio solar policies and its community of solar supporters”, according to a release.

Promotional material by Solar United Neighbors said the cost of the system depends on how much electricity you use.

In each case, they claimed you would see a projected cost saving from the purchase price over a 25 year lifetime.

Carolyn Rice, president of the Montgomery County Commission, said her family installed solar panels.

Rice said the new cooperative is easy for the county to support.

“This totally aligns with our plan to reduce carbon emissions and all our sustainability efforts,” Rice said.

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Dayton City Commissioner Matt Joseph agreed.

“Sustainability, working on renewables is something I care a lot about and really enjoy working on,” Joesph said, “It happens to be one of the, if not the biggest, challenges of our times,” Joseph said.

Joseph said the city supports alternative sources of energy and as an organization is working toward using 100 percent renewable energy for all their power needs.

A local business owner shared how solar energy has been working for him.

“It’s been a good deal economically as well as environmentally,” Bill Daniels, owner of Pizza Factory on Wayne Avenue in Dayton said.

Daniels installed solar panels a year ago at his business and his home.

Daniels said city inspectors were easy to work with as he installed solar to help meet his energy needs at Pizza Factory.

“I think its something that people will find appealing, aesthetically and it’s good for the environment,” Daniels said.