SunShare, the nation's oldest and largest residential community solar provider, announced that it purchased more than $100,000 in gift cards to local Colorado retailers as part of a subscriber promotion that offers participants gift cards to local businesses or charitable organizations. The program began as an effort to support other local Colorado small businesses during the pandemic and reward new subscribers with further incentives to choose solar energy from the state's community solar gardens.
"Building community is part of our DNA as a community solar provider, but the response we've gotten from our subscribers and from the businesses and non-profit organizations has been overwhelming," said Melina Fleming, SunShare's EVP of Strategy and Customer Experience. "We now have more than 100 local establishments on our list, and most have been requested by subscribers who want to make sure their favorite neighborhood spots are getting some love."
SunShare celebrated its 10th anniversary earlier this year, on the heels of Colorado celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the nation's first community solar legislation. In just over a decade, SunShare has served more than 13,000 residential, commercial, and municipal subscribers, and has plans to continue growing over the next several years.
Community solar allows anyone with an electricity bill to participate in generating solar energy. Instead of putting panels on the roof, households and businesses subscribe to a portion of the energy produced in the community solar garden, which the utility buys directly from the subscriber through credits on their electricity bill.
Jessie Burley, Sustainability Coordinator for Town of Breckenridge, which has benefitted from the program, said, "The Town of Breckenridge is proud to be able to partner with SunShare and offer homeowners in our community a renewable alternative to rooftop solar. Through this partnership, businesses and community organizations have also benefited through a give back program where dollars are returned to support sustainable programs. It's a win-win for Breckenridge."
"As the only community solar company that builds and owns our own solar gardens locally, we know through our everyday interactions with our subscribers that they take a lot of pride in the impact that their subscriptions make for their neighbors, family, and friends," Fleming said.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory data shows that 75% of U.S. homes are unsuitable for rooftop solar panel installation and nearly 40% of U.S. households are renters who are not able to choose to install a rooftop solar option.
Summit County non-profit, High Country Conservation Center, has received several thousand dollars thanks to SunShare subscribers' generosity. "Rooftop solar doesn't work for everyone, and that's why HC3 is excited that SunShare offers an alternative," said Climate Action Director for HC3 Jess Hoover. "Whether you rent or own your home, SunShare's community solar garden program provides Summit County residents with another clean energy option.
Denver business owner, Libby Anglin of Base 6 Fitness remarked, "We love being a part of the SunShare program, supporting our community and our environment. We continue to share the news about SunShare community solar with our clients, friends and family."
SunShare is offering gift cards to local businesses for subscribers who enroll by September 15 ahead of finishing construction on their next 5MW community solar garden.
SunShare | http://www.mysunshare.com