COLUMBUS (WCMH) — On Thursday Solar United Neighbors announced the launch of Columbus’ first Solar and Electric Vehicle Charger co-op. This will allow Franklin and Delaware County residents to sign up for free and leverage bulk prices for solar installations.  

“We know that a lot of people right here in Columbus want solar so we’re here to help them make those connections and cross those barriers,” said Tristan Rader, Ohio Program Director of Solar United Neighbors.  

Price is a large barrier for many people when it comes to going solar. It can cost anywhere from 7,000 to 18,000 dollars a home but with the co-op Rader says customers will be able to save somewhere from 15 to 20 percent on those costs.  

Representative David Leland attended the launch and said it’s a great step for Ohio but more needs to be done.  

“Ohio should be leading the way as far as cutting carbon, as far as our emissions are concerned but we’re just not leading the way in fact we’re falling very very far behind,” said Rep. Leland, (D) District 22. 

The Ohio Coal Association said there is a time and place for renewable energy but it would not be wise to switch completely over as a state.   

“There’s going to continue to be a spike in the need for electricity so better be careful what you hope for. Until there’s some kind of a break through in some kind of future energy source we need to keep a handle on the reliable stuff that’s available to us,” said Mike Cope, President of Ohio Coal Association.   

If you would like to sign up for the co-op there is no obligation to purchase solar but gives people an option once the bidding process is done. The deadline to sign-up is in April.