In a year full of changes, many St. Louis area residents have added switching energy sources to the long list of changes. With the help of Grow Solar St. Louis, homeowners and small businesses across the region are adding solar to their roofs and investing in renewable, clean energy. The Grow Solar St. Louis program makes navigating the complicated solar industry easier and more affordable for individuals with its group-buy discount and Power Hour education program.
The environmental and financial impacts have never made a better case to go solar, residents say. “I’m putting equity into my home and into my personal energy production,” said Jenn DeRose, who has helped administer the Grow Solar St. Louis program on behalf of Missouri Botanical Garden, Washington University in St. Louis, and the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA). Jenn also plans to participate in the program by adding solar to her home in South St. Louis home. “We see solar as a great investment into our home and for the planet,” she said.
Financing solar has become much more prevalent, said Peter Murphy, solar program director for the MREA. “In St. Louis, residents who finance solar are usually able to maintain their monthly budget, spending around what they previously paid in energy bills on solar systems for their homes,” he said. After their solar system is paid for, the energy is free for the remainder of a typical system’s lifetime of 25 years or longer.
The Grow Solar St. Louis and Metro East programs offer free no-pressure, no-obligation educational sessions and volume pricing for solar. These programs bring residents and small business owners around the Gateway region together from the comfort of their own homes, lowering the price of solar while simultaneously increasing the deployment of clean energy.
Grow Solar Metro East began in 2016 in Godfrey, IL with the help of local organizations and a partnership between Lewis and Clark Community College and the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA). In 2019, the EarthWays Center of the Missouri Botanical Garden partnered with Washington University in St. Louis and MREA to pilot a similar program in St. Louis City and County. Now in its third year in St. Louis, the Grow Solar St. Louis program continues to be supported by these partners. Municipal partners including City of Brentwood, Clayton, Richmond Heights, St. Louis, University City, and Webster Groves help spread the word about this shining solar opportunity.
These dual programs have resulted in over 350 installations on homes and businesses in the Gateway region since 2016. Over 2,000 residents have attended our educational presentations, and over 3,600 kilowatts of solar have been installed because of these programs in the Gateway region alone. Now in its third year the Grow Solar St. Louis program, along with its sister program Grow Solar Metro East, aims to add more than 750 kW of solar on over 100 properties in 2021.
Want to go solar? For more information, and the complete calendar of upcoming presentations, visit growsolarstl.org.