For the first time ever, Florida homeowners will have the ability to join a group solar energy sourcing event that will allow them to put their combined rooftop space out for competitive bids.
Bradenton, FL - December 8th, 2011 - The Florida Million Solar Rooftops Initiative is inviting Florida homeowners in major cities across the state to participate in a statewide procurement effort that enables residents to collectively negotiate competitive bids from reputable, certified solar contractors.
This will mark Florida's first group-based, citizen-led sourcing event and is designed to allow homeowners to leverage their combined buying power in order to achieve lower pricing than what they could receive individually.
Dubbed the Florida Citizens' Solar Electricity Bid, the initiative will be held in major cities across the Sunshine State: Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Cape Coral, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, and Port St. Lucie.
The Florida Million Solar Rooftops Initiative, which advocates for increased rooftop solar energy and has been tracking recent installations throughout the state on its well-known Solar Tracker system, is the bid sponsor. The sourcing events will be adminstered as online Request for Proposals (RFP) in a way similar to how Fortune 500 companies procure billions of dollars worth of goods and services every day.
Indications of interest are currently being taken on the Initiative's web site, MillionSolarRooftops.com, or on its Facebook fan page. A competitive, online bid will be held when at least 80 homeowners in each city have submitted an interest in procuring solar electricty systems through this sourcing initiative.
Fed up with the snail's pace at which Florida solar power has progressed, homeowners have already responded positvely to the idea since it was posted on Facebook yesterday.
The Initiative's founder, Jesse Roche, a sales and marketing professional who's participated in many sourcing events put out by the nation's top retailers, will design and execute the RFP.
Although many homeowners like the idea of solar energy, lack of clear information that the average person can grasp helps keep rooftop solar electricity at the periphery of society. The Florida Citizens' Solar Electricity Bid is intended to rectify this.
Another major problem has to do with price. Many people aren't sure a home solar energy system is within reach because of a high price tag perception. But solar panel prices, which typically make up roughly half the system cost, have come down significantly over the last several years, with even steeper price drops occurring within the 12 months alone.
Increased global manufacturing and a downturn in Europe's economy have combined to create a large oversupply of solar panels in the global marketplace. As a result, prices have plummeted to the point where wholesale is coming in at $1 per watt and less.
"We have a huge window of opportunity to exploit low panel costs and offer Florida homeowners solar energy systems at prices much less than what many believe them to be," Roche remarked.
The other side of the issue has to do finding ways to lower systems' installation costs. Historically, Florida solar contractors haven't had large volumes of solar photovoltaic systems to install. The Florida Citizens' Solar Electricity Bid will offer contractors greater volume in return for pricing capable of leveraging this in a way that makes the most sense for homeowners.
"It's an economic reality that larger buyers command better pricing," says Roche. "This principle is being applied to residential solar rooftop to achieve optimum price efficiency and value."
For more information, see Florida Citizens' Solar Electricity Bid. If you're a Florida homeowner interested in participating, please submit an Indication of Interest.