The people of Cisco in the United States and Canada can now buy or lease solar power for their homes at a discount, thanks to an initiative between the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Geostellar, an online marketer of solar systems.
The program uses bulk buying power to give employees, families, and friends access to solar power for their homes at a flat rate that is on average 35% lower than the national average and roughly 50% less expensive than the average electric utility rates. By providing both purchase and financing options, and a variety of panel choices, participants can select a system which meets their individual needs. Kimberly-Clark, 3M, National Geographic, as well as other companies and cities are also participating.
The offer will be available to over 100,000 people of the participating companies; if just 1% of them choose to power their homes with solar, more than 74,500 metric tons of carbon emissions would be avoided each year – the equivalent of taking more than 15,000 cars off the road, according to a World Wildlife Fund press release.
I was very pleased to be one of the first program participants! My system was installed just a few weeks ago and has already produced in excess of 150 kilowatt-hours (not bad for Cleveland, Ohio, where we’re not known for our sunny weather, particularly in the autumn). Even more exciting is that over 100 other Cisco stakeholders have started evaluating the potential for solar at their homes, with more than 10 already starting their installations to complete in the next 2 months.
By offering this program, we are multiplying our commitment to use more renewable energy in our operations. In fiscal year 2014, over 35% of the electricity we consumed came from renewable sources, continuing our trend of using renewable energy for at least 25% of our consumption since fiscal year 2009. Additionally, over the past 2 years Cisco has installed in excess of 2 megawatts of solar at our facilities worldwide.
Learn more about the Solar Community initiative:
- New York Times article
- GreenBiz article
- Program video from Geostellar
A quick update to everyone on how this program is going…
Since the beginning of the program, Cisco employees have installed 59 systems, totaling over 250 kilowatts in solar capacity. These systems are expected to reduce over 200 metric tons of CO2e per year.
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