Plano homeowners and business owners can now join a free co-op that allows them to purchase individual solar systems at a competitive price.

The program, offered through Solar United Neighbors, was made possible through a partnership with nonprofits Habitat for Humanity of Collin County, Plano Solar Advocates and Rocky Mountain Institute.

Participants go through a competitive bidding process to select a company that will install solar panels and electric vehicle chargers at a group rate, according to a Jan. 21 news release from Solar United Neighbors.

“The co-op will enable homeowners and business owners in and around the city of Plano to join the growing community of people saving money by harnessing solar power,” Hanna Mitchell, Texas program director for Solar United Neighbors, said in the release.

The city of Plano also offers rebates of up to $5,000 for residents whose homes are more than 35 years old through the Great Update Rebate Program, according to the release. It also partners with BTH Bank to finance loans of between $2,500-$25,000 for energy upgrades.

“This program is in-line with our clean air goals, and we hope residents from all Plano neighborhoods will take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about solar energy and see if it’s right for them,” Yarcus Lewis, the city’s sustainability projects supervisor, said in the release.

Residents and business owners who join the co-op are not obligated to purchase solar equipment. Solar United Neighbors has offered nine other co-ops in Texas since 2018, which are responsible for $1.4 million in local solar spending and more than 17.2 million pounds of lifetime carbon offsets, according to the release.

“We hope this initiative will make a positive impact in the lives of our community members by locking in long-term electric bill savings for participants and spurring investment in local, clean energy jobs,” Celeste Cox, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Collin County, said in the release.

Residents and business owners interested in joining the co-op can attend upcoming virtual information meetings Feb. 9 at noon or Feb. 23 at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit this link.