Solar power lights up D.C. communities

The average price of a solar panel has declined by 60 percent since the beginning of 2011, and solar panel installations are overwhelming occurring in middle-class neighborhoods. (Getty Images)
D.C. communities are gaining power. Solar power, that is

Rachel Nania | November 14, 2014 11:38 pm

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WASHINGTON – For many families, buying in bulk is generally reserved for toilet paper and cereal, but a D.C.-based community organization is hoping to expand that list to solar power.

In 2006, Anya Schoolman decided to invest in solar panels for her Mount Pleasant home in Northwest, D.C. But what she hoped would be a rewarding and impactful endeavor, turned out to be complicated and confusing.

After all, Schoolman explains solar panels were relatively new to the consumer market eight years ago. There were few contractors, few incentives and even fewer policies in place.

That’s when Schoolman decided to get her whole neighborhood involved. She knew there were others interested in solar panels, and so in 2007, she formed a Mount Pleasant solar co-op.

“It really made a difference doing it as a group. We helped each other all along the way, you know, choosing the installer, the installation

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