Welcome to the Mt. Pleasant Solar Cooperative - Scene with sunny Mt. Pleasant rooftops and a sun-ray background.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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What is the Mt. Pleasant Solar Cooperative?

In 2006, two young friends in Mt. Pleasant, Walter Lynn and Diego Arene-Morley, started talked about their feeling that maybe grownups should stop talking about doing something about global warming and start doing it. Walter and Diego, and two of their parents Jeff Morley and Anya Schoolman, decided to create the Mt. Pleasant Solar Cooperative

Since then more than 70 Mt. Pleasant households have joined the Solar Coop. We have held regular meetings, sponsored energy audits, supplied compact fluorescent light bulbs to members, and collected essential date about neighborhood energy use. Our ranks include students, accountants, lawyers, environmentalists, journalists, realtors, and retirees.

The coop is open to any Mt. Pleasant resident.

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What is your goal?

Our goal is to make Mt Pleasant into a showcase solar neighborhood. We want to cut Mt. Pleasant’s carbon energy consumption dramatically in the years to come and we want to show other neighborhoods that they can do the same. We advocate aggressive energy conservation coupled with collective action to bring solar power easily and cheaply to everybody in the neighborhood.

Our vision: by working together, purchasing, and negotiating as a group we can cut costs of adopting solar power systems for our members. As a group, we can also make faster progress toward reducing our carbon emissions.

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How much would it cost me to install solar power on my house?

Not much more than you are currently paying on your Pepco bill.

Of course, the cost of adopting solar power – and the resulting savings – depends on your energy usage. It also depends on State and Federal incentives, tax breaks and grants. We are working to pull all those benefits together for the Coop.

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How do I figure the savings for me?

Look at the bar graph on your Pepco bill to see you annual usage.

If you use an average of 600 kilowatt hours per month, or 7,200 kilowatt hours per year, the system will supply up to 40 percent of your energy needs:

Find your annual energy consumption in KW hours. Divide that figure by 2,983 to learn how much solar power will reduce your carbon energy consumption.

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Does it make economic sense to go solar?

Yes. Once this investment is paid off you will enjoy years of lower bills. We are still working on the options and incentives to make our solar package accessible to folks of all income levels. We are working on financing to get the down payment as low as possible. In the long run, you will end up saving more than you spend.

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What kind of construction is necessary?

Our partner company, Switch, will install four racks of solar panels on your roof. (These are also called photovoltaic, or PV, cells). Each row has three modules. Each rack is approximately 9.8 feet by 5.2 feet.

The total weight on your roof will be 480 pounds, which our engineers say can be easily supported.

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Does solar power work at night?

No. The solar panels generate electricity that goes straight into you current wiring. When the sun is shining, the panels will supply your house with energy and run your meter backward. At night, the electricity comes from Pepco. You won’t notice any difference in your house—only on your bill. DC’s new net metering allow you to “carry over” the credits if you generate more than you use any month.

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How can I help?

By joining us in taking action. We need help spreading the message that Mt. Pleasant can “go solar” soon.

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Walter, Diego, Jeff & Anya