While most solar and wind installers are flocking to states like Oregon and California, Utah-based Intermountain Wind and Solar (IWS) is looking to serve in the lesser populated states of Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. And, based on the success of its community purchasing initiative in Utah it’s planning on roll out similar initiatives in more of the states it services.
“We want to provide services that residents can afford. Alternative resources can often get really expensive,” said Doug Shipley, founder of IWS. “The benefit of the community initiative is that it allows bulk pricing and saves individuals money. They can utilize it on homes or businesses; sharing the cost simply makes it smaller.”
Community purchasing initiatives have been used by solar installers for years. By informing the community about solar options and creating a local group purchasing program, installers like IWS can offer greater savings on an array through group purchasing. By using economies of scale and purchasing more PV and relevant equipment based on how many arrays it will install, it lowers the purchase price for the installer, which lowers it for the customers, too. This becomes even more important in regions that may not have ready access to incentives that help reduce the price of solar or wind or a high amount of solar and wind installers that compete to bring prices down.
In the last year, IWS offered a successful group purchasing initiative in Utah and Idaho, and now it plans to expand the program further into Idaho, as well as into Wyoming and Nevada. “This initiative goes through and highlights available models that can cut down on monthly bills,” IWS said. “While one of the main priorities of the initiative is to educate residents about their options, it also serves to provide bulk pricing that can save community members costs on installation.”
IWS said it offers residential wind turbines photovoltaics, and emergency power systems that it said can cut cost monthly energy bills and “eliminate the need to rely on fossil fuels.” The company added, “The western states are proving to be an ideal location for alternative energy. With desert climates, the sun is consistently shining, making panels a viable option for a wide range of residents. Average wind speeds over 12 mph are making it so turbines are also performing optimally.” With the ideal resources and bulk purchasing IWS said it can help close the gap between renewable and conventional, grid-based energy sources.