Solar Pilot Project

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GiveSolar recommends that Habitat affiliates who are interested in implementing solar carry out a solar pilot project.  GiveSolar partners with Habitat affiliates to assist in setting up and implementing a solar pilot project.  Through GiveSolar, funding resources may be available to pay for the costs of a pilot project.  While enacting a pilot project, GiveSolar advises affiliates on implementing sustainable solar programs that allow affiliates to install solar on future homes. 

The information on this page aims to assist Habitat affiliates in deciding whether to implement a solar pilot project in collaboration with GiveSolar.

Purposes and Goals of implementing a solar pilot project

solar installation
  1. To normalize the process of installing solar systems on Habitat homes.
  2. To create strong partnerships with solar installers.
  3. To develop protocols for integrating solar into the design and construction processes.
  4. To encourage media attention focusing on the concept of installing solar on Habitat homes.
  5. To integrate the solar barnraising into the affiliate’s volunteer opportunities.
  6. To train a staff member, board member, or volunteer to carry this project forward after the pilot project is complete.
  7. To expand the donor base of the affiliate by emphasizing the role of energy efficiency and solar in making housing more affordable.

Steps to implement a pilot projet

Here is a sample flowchart for the implementation of a pilot project. This process can take two to five months to complete, depending on the construction timeline and the availability of the solar installer.

  1. Express interest to GiveSolar in partnering on a pilot project.
  2. GiveSolar will schedule an initial consultation with the affiliate’s point of contact.
  3. The Habitat affiliate will generate a list of three to five best options for a pilot project.
  4. GiveSolar will evaluate the appropriateness of these houses and prioritize best options.  
  5. Once the best option is chosen, the homeowner should be approached. The Solar Fact Sheet and FAQs should be shared with the homeowner.
  6. If the homeowner agrees to have solar installed, the solar installer will be notified.
  7. Request a twelve-month history of electricity usage from the homeowner for existing homes.
  8. A solar design will be created and a cost estimate will be generated by the installer.
  9. If the design and estimate are acceptable, a date range will be set for the install.
  10. GiveSolar will confer with the solar installer and the affiliate to plan a solar barnraising.

Please contact Jeff Heie, Director of GiveSolar, if you require additional information regarding pilot projects: [email protected] (540) 656-6841.