Community-owned Energy | FAQ

  • Where are ESC projects based?
    ESC’s current community solar projects are focused in disenfranchised and low-income areas of California.
  • What kind of systems does the Cooperative employ?
    These projects utilize photovoltaic (i.e. solar electric) technology.
  • Who are the members of ESC?
    Currently, our Consumer Members are institutional members such as non-profit organizations, schools, places of worship, multi-family units, and other community groups. Individuals, such as those with site constraints or financial barriers to renewable energy, will be able to join the cooperative in the near future and benefit from a shared solar project. Our Worker Members are comprised of a dynamic team of energy practitioners. Sustainers, as non-voting participants in the Cooperative, assist in financing projects.
  • How is ESC different from solar crowd-funding models?
    While ESC does utilize the power of crowd-sourcing for financing solar projects, we see this as only a piece of our model. ESC is working to make it possible for community residents to share in the direct economic, social and environmental benefits of local, suitable solar sites. Stay tuned to learn more about how California residents can participate in cooperative solar.
  • How is ESC different from bulk purchasing cooperatives?
    Bulk purchasing cooperatives are great for individuals who would like to benefit from a discounted product or service. This allows both parties to engage in a mutually beneficial arrangement resulting from economies of scale and buying power. In the energy sector for example, bulk purchasing cooperatives help individual homeowners with suitable roof sites to get discounts on solar equipment. ESC’s multi-stakeholder model goes a step beyond this, and allows for greater and more direct participation. We enable individuals and groups of individuals to come together and develop a renewable energy project from start to finish. Whether the project is individually or communally owned, or lacks technical or financial capacity, ESC has the resources to support a larger variety of goods and services as compared to a traditional bulk purchasing cooperative.
  • Why is ESC's middle name ‘Solidarity’?
    Solidarity means coalescing around a shared set of community interests. Here’s an article with more info about its importance as part of ESC’s model.

Check back soon for more Frequently Asked Questions.