Solarize Final Report is now available! 

Find out about history, approach, results and challenges of the program.

Solarize La Plata was limited-time offer that provided 
the right solar photovoltaic system for homes and
financing options to help generate electricity.


Solarize La Plata

Solarize La Plata County was initiated by 4CORE and a group of committed citizens in the Spring of 2013. 4CORE held a "Solarize Community Exploration" meeting on March 19, 2013 to gauge interest in the process. The vast majority of participants were interested in moving forward, and a steering committee is now moving forward with a campaign in La Plata County (including all cities & towns within county). 

Solarize La Plata goals include installing solar on 100 homes with an aggregate total of 325 kilowatts (kW) in system capacity. The campaign launched in October of 2013, with installations taking place March through June of 2014.

Benefits of the Solarize Process:

This limited time offer will provide a simple process and a package solutions for homeowners who would like to go solar, but haven't been able to afford it in the past, or have been confused by the process. Through increased awareness and education, installations in La Plata County will be increased and the market will be primed for future solar growth.

The following are resources from the initial meeting in March of 2013:

4CORE Presentation Meeting Notes (updated 4-3-13)
Survey Results with Comments

Campaign parameters defined by the Solarize La Plata Steering Committee

First Reduce, Then Produce
Before going solar, it makes sense to ensure your home is energy efficient. For example, you don't want to install a large solar PV system and then change out all your lighting, insulate or air seal and find you didn't need such a big system.

4CORE's HomeRx Program is an easy-to-use process that lets you know what areas you should prioritize to make your home more efficient before going solar. Contact us today to learn more at 970-259-1916 or email us.

Where is Solarize La Plata?
Solarize Our Community!

What is a Solarize Campaign? 

The DOE Solarize campaign is a grassroots effort to increase the number of solar electric (PV) installations in a focused neighborhood or community. 

Using community volunteers, active local government and a local non-profit as the Project Manager, the program capitalizes on the purchasing power of a community and motivates the residents by offeringsignificant savings through a limited-time bulk purchase opportunity that also removes other common market barriers. 

Case studies in other communities have shown a 20 - 40% discount on solar installations for participants. In addition, it would provide jobs and spur the market for ongoing growth in the local solar industry. 

Funding efforts during this first Solarize campaign could help create a sustainable funding source for future Solarize campaigns in other communities such as Bayfield or Cortez.

Common Solarize Campaign Steps

Step 1a: Develop Partnerships and Initiate Planing (Months 1-3)
Step 1b: Build Database and Customer Interface (Months 1-3)
Step 2: Volunteer Recruitment (Months 1-2)
Step 3: Request for Proposal (RFP) Process (Months 2-3)
Step 4: Outreach and Education (Months 4-6)
Step 5: Customer Enrollment (Months 4-6)
Step 6: Site Assessments by Solar Installer(s) (Months 4-6)
Step 7: Solar Installations! (Months 5-9)
Step 8: Celebrate and Reflect (Month 9)
Frequently Asked Questions
Collapse All Expand All

Yes, small businesses (10 kW systems or smaller)

You can help by signing up to participate in Solarize La Plata, by encouraging your friends and neighbors to learn about the program, by volunteering with the Solarize La Plata steering committee and/or by gathering a group of co-workers or neighbors to hear a presentation about the Solarize La Plata program. Call 970-259-1916  to request a presentation.

340 of your close friends, family and neighbors. And counting...
No. 100 homes is our GOAL. We would be happy to solarize more!
These prices are samples and are meant to give you an idea of pricing. Your system price may be more or less, depending on your home's specific needs:

4 kW - $16,800 gross, $10,780 net
5 kW - $20,200 gross, $12,915 net
6 kW - $23,250 gross, $14,805 net

net-  after LPEA renewable energy credit (REC) and 30 percent Federal income tax credit;


  • Financial incentives include a $350 per kilowatt La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) renewable energy credit (REC) and a 30 percent Federal income tax credit on the REC-credit reduced cost of the system.  
  • A PV solar system also reduces dependence on fossil fuel-powered powerplants by providing you and your neighbors with clean, sun-powered electrical energy.  
  • Your participation also helps worthy local non-profit organizations (Boys and Girls Club of Durango and the Women’s Resource Center) receive solar power from our local solar contractors as soon as 50 Solarize La Plata contracts are signed.


None; the majority of these systems are La Plata Electric Association grid-tied, net-metered systems. 

A fixed-rate, seven-year loan is available from First National Bank and a variable rate 10-year loan is available from First Southwest Bank.  Interest rates are low, but are not set until you apply for financing.

Contact the bank of your choice to learn more: 

First Southwest Bank: 
Variable rate, 10 year term, no costs, low interest rate 
Contact: Rose Nogues, 970-375-1100, 

First National Bank of Durango: 
Fixed rate, 7 year, low costs, low interest rate 
Contact: Angie Dominguez, 970-382-5657, 

No. We have not committed to any programs other than the current Solarize La Plata effort.

We ask that you do not request a specific contractor/installer. We ask that you work with the contractor that is assigned to you. However, if you have an issue, you can always asked to be re-assigned. We are not offering this program with any installer outside of the program.

Our contractors will be installing the same quality of components and workmanship of systems and giving equitable pricing. We are working for fair distribution. 
No. There is no cost or obligation until you accept and/or negotiate a proposal with one of our five solar contractors.

This is a great deal!  The system prices are below market, the financing options are tailored to the Solarize La Plata program and local businesses benefit directly from your participation in Solarize La Plata.

The solar installer will give you a proposal based on your electric use and needs. The base system prices are simply a reference point for you to get an idea of system prices, but we will customize your system to your needs.
Solarize La Plata in the News
Solar campaign shines light on energy savings;- Durango Herald Good Earth- 10/24/2013

Meeting to gauge local interest in Solar- Durango Herald Good Earth- 03/13/2013

Opening up to solar power- Durango Herald Good Earth- 11/23/2013

The Time is Right for Switching to Solar Power- Durango Herald Letter to the Editor- 12/16/2013

There is no Reason to Wait: Go Solar Now- Durango Herald Letter to the Editor- 01/25/2014

Tapping sun’s power: Solarize La Plata begins panel project in Bayfield- Durango Herald Good Earth- 02/06/2014 

Club's Sunny Banner Hopes to Mark Dawn of Solar Era- Durango Herald Action Line- 02/17/2014

Solarize Program Ends - 08/07/2014

Solar power cutting back on utility bills in La Plata County - 08/27/2014