Sunsense Solar Partners with Nonprofits to Help Provide Sustainable Energy for All
Not so long ago, solar energy seemed out of reach for the average consumer. Although many had the desire to adopt a green energy solution and take control of their electricity bills, the upfront cost of a solar setup was often unaffordable. Fortunately, things have changed in recent years.
“Solar is now much more low-cost than it once was,” says Katharine Rushton, commercial sales and marketing manager for Sunsense Solar. “But there will always be marginalized groups who don’t have access, and they are in fact the ones who need the most help because they may be struggling to pay utility bills.”
Although Rushton notes that while there is no magic solution to this dilemma, Sunsense is actively taking steps to close the gap in accessibility for local residents. The company, voted Best Solar Provider in Roaring Fork Lifestyle’s Readers’ Choice awards last year, has served the valley since 1990 and values its deep commitment to bettering the community.
“We understand that sustainability is bigger than just environmental concerns and that social equity leads to community resilience,” she adds. “A challenge for the solar industry has been to expand the solar market to include lower-income individuals and the nonprofits that serve them.”
With that challenge continually on its radar, Sunsense has maintained a longstanding partnership with Habitat for Humanity Roaring Fork Valley. To date, the company has donated design and installation services with free or at-cost solar equipment for 14 local Habitat homes. It also played a pivotal role in making the organization’s new ReStore 2.0 more energy-efficient.
“Habitat for Humanity and Sunsense have been partnering for 10 years to help our homeowners reduce their monthly costs. Sunsense typically installs an array and operating system for a new homeowner each Earth Day,” says Habitat president Scott Gilbert. “Sunsense is also a key partner in the comfort, sustainability, and energy cost reduction of our new ReStore.”
In addition to its work with Habitat, the Sunsense team has been involved with many other recent community-based projects. These have included donated design and installation services and discounted or at-cost equipment for groups that may not have been able to access them otherwise, such as Colorado Animal Rescue and Aspen Mountain Rescue. Sunsense has also partnered with The Appropriate Technology Collaborative to install solar for a school in Guatemala, donated equipment to support the Solar Electric Light Fund, and is currently working with the Amicus Solar Cooperative to help provide standalone solar-powered energy trailers for disaster relief in Puerto Rico and other locations.
While Sunsense works hard to provide solar systems for homeowners, businesses, municipalities, school districts, and other entities across the region, it is the team’s mission to go above and beyond that truly defines the company.
“As a local provider of solar electric systems it seems natural to want to participate in building a more sustainable community,” says founder and president Scott Ely. “With so many wonderful nonprofits and worthy causes in the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond, Sunsense simply wants to support these organizations by doing what we do best.”