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Shines FAQ

Why Is the Groundwork Center campaigning for more rooftop solar power?

Solar is by far America’s fastest-growing industry, but even as costs continue to fall and more people across the nation install solar panels, Michiganders are missing out due to weak state policies and the myth that solar doesn’t work well in northern states.

Is this a fundraiser for your nonprofit?

No. We are designing Groundwork Shines to make “going solar” very convenient for utility customers and more efficient for solar installers. Our goal is to boost sales of residential rooftop solar systems and spark local “solar contagion.” New solar owners will tell their friends and neighbors that going solar is affordable, financially smart, and a terrific first step toward energy independence. We think our community-based approach will provide a good business model that we can share with other communities.

What do you mean when you say the Shines program is “community based”?

Groundwork Center works closely with community members to design and expedite Shines. Seven local installers, several Northwestern Michigan College educators, and community advocates from SEEDS, Northport Energy Action Taskforce, and the Benzie Solar Initiative help find solutions to cut the hassle and cost of rooftop solar.

So what did this community group come up with?

We agreed to a cooperative work-sharing arrangement among installers. Groundwork will make contct with customers and give them a rough idea of the options available to them - then give them the resources and information necessary to pick an installer and get rolling,

How good of a deal is this, really?

We can’t claim ours is the world’s least expensive, most convenient way for a homeowner to go solar, but we’re confident this is a very good deal and the best, nicely priced opportunity homeowners here will have to “go solar” for a good while.