Grant Will Help More Sarasota Residents Harness Clean Energy Through SUN

The Giving Coast

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A grant from Gulf Coast Community Foundation will enable Solar United Neighbors (SUN) to expand clean, sustainable energy in Sarasota County. SUN will use the $30,000 grant to launch two new residential solar co-ops, which help neighbors affordably install quality rooftop solar-energy systems at a group rate. The funding also will allow SUN to expand its youth education and community outreach programs, work with local governments to reduce barriers to going solar, and assist more businesses interested in converting to solar energy. 

SUN is a national organization dedicated to representing the needs and interests of solar owners and supporters, with a presence in 11 states plus the District of Columbia. Since 2016, when an earlier Gulf Coast grant helped SUN ramp up its operations in the Sunshine State, the organization’s network of neighborhood-based co-ops across Florida has grown from two to 56. That includes two completed co-ops in Sarasota County, which together saw 100 households go solar with a total investment of more than $1.98 million in their new systems. Those systems will collectively save homeowners an estimated $3.4 million in energy costs versus buying retail electricity over their 25-year lifespans.

“Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s longtime support has been instrumental in the success of our solar co-ops,” said Angela DeMonbreun, regional field director for Solar United Neighbors. “They have provided us with cost and learning benefits that wouldn’t otherwise be available. There’s still a great demand for solar co-ops in the Sarasota area, and this grant will enable us to continue meeting it.”

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