"A big part of what we are trying to do is to reduce 'soft' costs, including permitting," said Joel Howrani Heeres of EcoWorks, a non-profit dedicated to sustainable energy use. "Solar is Greek to a lot of inspectors."
The program is also providing $0 down financing with unsecured loans so that the system won’t cost a lot of money up front.
"The $3 per installed watt systems are really competitive," said Howrani Heeres. "The average cost to have a solar system installed on your home is $8,000 to $13,000. You can bring your DTE bill down to $0."
MI Solar Works is hoping to sign-up interested homeowners in Royal Oak and Ferndale as part of a pilot program that ends Oct. 31.
Race to the Rooftops
The MI Solar Works program is part of the US Department of Energy's Race to the Rooftops contest to encourage the solar industry to break through the price barrier for solar. The first phase of the race is to see who can install 5,000 systems at the low cost of $3 per installed watt of power production. Only five years ago, systems would typically cost $7 per installed watt, according to MI Solar Works.
In Michigan, solar has been a growth industry, increasing over 15 percent each year between 2003 and 2010. The solar industry employs 6,300 workers by 121 companies in Michigan for solar manufacturing alone.
Find out if your home or business is eligibleMichigan has more solar radiation than Germany, which is leading world solar use, according to MI Solar Works.
To find out if your home or business is eligible or for more details, visit ecoworksdetroit.org/solar.