DC SUN is very decentralized and that is the reason we are such a strong and dynamic organization. The majority of our members associate with their neighborhood solar coop. DC SUN then serves as an umbrella organization for these coops, supporting the coops and helping to coordinate District-wide solar initiatives, advocacy and events.
The best way to follow what is going on with solar in DC is to join our listerv. The listserv is focused on real time practical information related to solar incentives, solar technology, solar related events and solar projects. It is a community of more than 800 people in DC dedicated to expanding solar, including homeowners, installers, government officials, Pepco officials, consumer advocates, students and solar experts. It is a great resource for finding out what you need to know about solar—ask us anything – just as long as it is related to solar.
If you don’t want to get daily emails on the listserv you can sign up to be on our regular mailing list. We will only contact you when something is really important like an event, group buy ,or pending legislation.
DC SUN, as an umbrella organization, manages the listserv, the blog and the website. We also provide support to coops to manage mailing lists (we have software that any coops can use). DC SUN also works through the steering committee to coordinate policy work. DC SUN manages and leads advocacy efforts on behalf of the coops. We organize an annual outreach event and we build partnerships with other organizations. We choose priorities for action through the annual Solar Congress. Within DC SUN we have a basic division of labor. A steering committee, made up of coop leaders and active volunteers, meets bi-monthly to discuss the activities of the coops and DC SUN. Coop leaders provide updates on their efforts and the committee identifies solar issues that pertain to the District as a whole.
Neighborhood coops are the building blocks of solar in DC. Coops meet regularly and work on projects or initiatives based on the needs of the community. Some coops organize bulk purchases to help their members save money on solar panels, while others host monthly speakers or talks about renewable energy. If you are interested in promoting solar in your community, your neighborhood coop is where you can make that happen.
There are a number of different ways people can volunteer with DC SUN. If you are interested in any of these roles, contact us to get involved! Volunteer roles include:
- Coop Leaders are the foundation of DC SUN and help us accomplish all that we do! Leaders do not need any prior experience with solar energy, only a desire to help make something happen. It is also very common for coops to have co-leaders, which allows leaders to support each other and share the workload.
- Coop Coordinators help make sure neighborhood coops runs smoothly and efficiently. This is a great role if you’re new to solar and want to learn more.
- Project Volunteer: We are always working on short-term projects and short-term volunteer are critical to making these projects a success. If you’d like to volunteer but aren’t sure if you can commit for the long-term, taking on a short-term project is an excellent opportunity.
- Policy Associates help DC SUN pass important legislation to support solar energy in DC. Your job is to develop policy resources and help drive forward progress on solar legislation.
- Education and Outreach Coordinator: Part of DC SUN’s success is that we are always doing outreach and educational events about solar energy in DC.
To learn more about volunteering, check out our DC SUN Volunteer Handbook.