Solar United Neighbors

Go Solar. Join Together. Fight for Your Energy Rights.

Washington, DC   |  www.solarunitedneighbors.org

Mission

Solar United Neighbors is a community of people building a new energy system with rooftop solar at the cornerstone. We envision a clean, equitable energy system that directs control and benefits back to local communities, with solar on every roof and money in every pocket. We're achieving this by helping people go solar, join together, and fight for their energy rights.

Ruling year info

2014

Executive Director

Anya Schoolman

Main address

1350 Connecticut Ave. NW Suite 412

Washington, DC 20036 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

46-2462990

NTEE code info

Energy Resources Conservation and Development (C35)

Civil Rights, Social Action, and Advocacy N.E.C. (R99)

Community Coalitions (S21)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2019, 2018 and 2017.
Register now

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The United States is in the midst of an historic transition from centralized, fossil fuel powered energy generation to clean, renewable energy generation. In 2015 alone, renewables accounted for 69% of all new energy capacity added in the country. Transitioning to renewables is possible: the cost of solar has dropped precipitously in the last five years and is quickly approaching grid parity (cost equivalence with fossil fuel sources), even in states like West Virginia. Solar has the potential to dramatically decrease carbon emissions, save families a significant portion of their monthly expenses, and keep more money in local communities. Additionally, distributed solar energy production supports significantly more jobs than traditional energy sources, and can be a potent driver of local economic growth.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Solar United Neighbors of Virginia

We’re a community of people building a new energy system with rooftop solar at the cornerstone. We help people go solar, join together, and fight for their energy rights.

Population(s) Served

We’re a community of people building a new energy system with rooftop solar at the cornerstone. We help people go solar, join together, and fight for their energy rights.

Population(s) Served

We’re a community of people building a new energy system with rooftop solar at the cornerstone. We help people go solar, join together, and fight for their energy rights.

Population(s) Served

We’re a community of people building a new energy system with rooftop solar at the cornerstone. We help people go solar, join together, and fight for their energy rights. We are helping to implement DC's Solar for All program, providing free solar installations to low-income families.

Population(s) Served

We’re a community of people building a new energy system with rooftop solar at the cornerstone. We help people go solar, join together, and fight for their energy rights.

Population(s) Served

We’re a community of people building a new energy system with rooftop solar at the cornerstone. We help people go solar, join together, and fight for their energy rights.

Population(s) Served

We’re a community of people building a new energy system with rooftop solar at the cornerstone. We help Minnesotans go solar, join together, and fight for their energy rights.

Population(s) Served

We’re a community of people building a new energy system with rooftop solar at the cornerstone. We help people go solar, join together, and fight for their energy rights.

Population(s) Served

We’re a community of people building a new energy system with rooftop solar at the cornerstone. We help people go solar, join together, and fight for their energy rights.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Awards

Champion of Change in Solar Energy 2014

White House

One of the best community-based nonprofits 2017

Catalgoue for Philanthropy

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of participants engaged in programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Context Notes

This number reflects the number of participants in solar education, co-ops, community-building, and advocacy work in a given year.

Number of jobs created and maintained

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Context Notes

Calculated using the Jobs and Economic Development Impact (JEDI) model from the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Number of households/businesses that have gone solar through SUN

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year

Economic benefits (direct and indirect) to communities as a result of our programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Context Notes

Includes direct investment, indirect economic impact, energy savings, and property value improvements due to solar installations through our programs.

kW of distributed solar installed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Context Notes

Solar capacity installed through our solar co-op program and consulting projects for farms, small businesses, and municipalities.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Solar United Neighbors envisions a clean, equitable energy system that directs control and benefits back to local communities, with solar on every roof and money in every pocket. We aim to transform the US energy system from a centralized monopoly-based system to a grassroots, democracy-based system that allows everyone to participate and fairly compensates people for their contributions. Our goals are to: 1) Transform the public understanding of solar from a niche "green" technology to a mainstream practical investment, 2) Help people go solar and protect their solar investment, 3) Build and broaden the solar movement by enabling people of all socioeconomic backgrounds to benefit from solar energy.

In order to transform the public understanding of solar from a niche "green" technology to a mainstream practical investment, we educate the public about solar energy through online platforms and free public information sessions, work with diverse local partners (churches, local governments, civic associations, advocacy groups. etc.), and engage local press in solar education and positive stories about solar in their communities.

In order to help people go solar and protect their solar investment, we organize solar bulk purchasing programs called solar co-ops, which make solar more affordable and accessible to community members. By going solar as a group, participants save on the cost of their system and get the best products, warranties, etc. for the best price. Solar co-op participants get one-on-one support from our technical experts throughout the co-op process. As a result, significantly more homeowners go solar than would otherwise. We also offer a membership program with a solar Help Desk that provides support and services to help people go solar outside of a co-op, make the most of their solar investment, and keep up to date on solar policy, incentives, and technology. We educate our network about legislative and regulatory threats to their solar investments, and help people participate in public comment processes and other ways of making their voices heard. When appropriate, we also intervene in Public Service Commission proceedings to protect the rights and interests of distributed solar owners.

In order to broaden the solar movement by enabling people of all socioeconomic backgrounds to benefit from solar energy, we work with diverse community partners to engage new constituencies in the clean energy movement. We also engage solar supporters in clean energy and solar policy initiatives to make solar energy more affordable and accessible to low-income residents, renters, and others whose access is usually limited. We also run a robust engagement program which engages Solar United Neighbors members in educational opportunities, community outreach, and social events to connect with other solar supporters and build a supportive community that has the capacity to take on significant policy and regulatory challenges.

Solar United Neighbors started as a small group of neighbors working together to get solar at a discount. Over the past nine years, we have developed a unique grassroots model that helps people go solar, join together, and fight for their energy rights.

Our team is exceptionally skilled in solar technology, policy, and community organizing. We have over 25 staff working to implement the best programs and provide the best service possible. We have a NABCEP-certified Solar PV Installation Professional on staff, and have many other staff who are experts in current solar panels, inverters, and related product offerings. We are also very knowledgeable about electric vehicles, batteries for home energy storage, and how to integrate other technologies with solar PV. Other staff are subject matter experts in solar policy, especially community solar, low-income solar programs, net metering, and utility regulation. All of our staff are extremely passionate about their work, creative and not afraid to try new things to make our programs (and our world) better.

Our program model is effective, practical, proven, and scalable. We have been tremendously successful in sparking excitement about solar in communities from urban Baltimore to rural West Virginia, and everywhere in between. We have deployed a significant capacity of residential solar power, boosting local economies and creating jobs as we did so. Our programs have strengthened local solar markets and created new solar companies while bringing prices down and quality up for customers. And most importantly, we have created an engaged grassroots base that we have deployed for a number of important policy wins.

As of October 2017, we have directly engaged 15,000 residents in solar education, helped 2,325 homeowners go solar, and installed 16,800 kW of solar capacity. This work has invested $272 million in local communities, reduced carbon emissions by 580 million pounds, and created 505 solar jobs.

In 2017, we launched programs in three new states (Minnesota, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) and launched our Solar for All program to provide free solar installations to low-income homeowners in DC. In 2018, we will launch programs in several additional states, roll out a membership program to all states where we have an on-the-ground presence, and continue to add meaningful goods and services for members. We will continue to organize solar co-ops and engage people in solar advocacy in order to make solar more affordable and accessible for everyone.

Financials

Solar United Neighbors
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Solar United Neighbors

Board of directors
as of 7/8/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Courtney Cuff

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes