Announcing Solar Urbana-Champaign 2.0!

Solar Stock HouseThe sun is shining for homeowners and commercial property owners across Champaign County, as the Solar Urbana-Champaign 2.0 program commences March 23. The program allows individual home and commercial property owners to access lower prices for solar installations through the power of volume purchasing.  

The City of Urbana has partnered with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) to coordinate a second solar group buy in Champaign County, building on the the program’s success in 2016. The advantage of a group buy is the power of volume purchasing, which can significantly reduce the upfront costs of installing solar on your home or business. You do not need to be a City of Urbana resident to participate – the group buy is open to all Champaign County residents and business owners.  

“Last year’s group buy resulted in over 80 installations of solar on homes and commercial properties all over Champaign County,” said Scott Tess, Environmental Sustainability Manager for the City of Urbana. “It was one of the most successful programs of its kind in the region. We wanted to build upon the strong interest that we know exists here.”

Solar Power Hour education sessions are posted at

The more people go solar, the lower the price for everyone. So help spread the word by forwarding this email to 3 friends, neighbors, or relatives in Champaign County! 

“For us, the focus is education,” said Peter Murphy, Solar Program Manager at MREA. “Last year we reached 420 individuals with our free information sessions, helping them understand how solar technology works, whether their site is a good solar candidate, and how solar might affect their pocketbook.”

“There are a lot of misconceptions,” said Murphy. “There’s a persistent myth that solar is future tech, that it’s on the horizon but not available today. The truth is, it’s more affordable than ever right now, and the Solar Urbana-Champaign 2.0 program not only brings the price down, but helps correct some of the misunderstandings.”

MREA issued a request for proposals to solar installers in January. A local advisory committee reviewed proposals based on professional certification, experience, and cost. They selected New Prairie Construction Co., based in Urbana. They were chosen as the solar installer for the second Solar Group Buy because of their high-quality solar installations, building science expertise, and emphasis on customer service. They are uniquely qualified to evaluate a homeowner’s energy needs, provide quality solar installations, and even provide a preliminary energy efficiency assessment for each participant.

"The solar branch of New Prairie Construction Co. is a natural extension of our commitment to providing high quality, environmentally responsible solutions for homes and businesses," says Julie Birdwell, co-owner of New Prairie. "Solar Urbana-Champaign 2.0 provides an excellent opportunity for our community to use the power of bulk purchasing to get premium quality installations for a great price.  We are excited to work with our neighbors to help increase sustainability and energy independence in Champaign County."

If you have additional questions, please contact Peter Murphy, Solar Program Manager at Midwest Renewable Energy Association at 414-988-7963 or

The deadline to sign a contract with New Prairie Construction and receive program pricing is August 31.

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Created on: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 12:45
- Author: ScottT