Posted on: July 1, 2022

Investing in solar may seem like a solo decision made by you or you and your household, but that decision might just be the very first in a long line of dominos that encourages your entire neighborhood to go solar! And if the U.S. plans to bring carbon emissions down to net-zero by 2050, we need all the help we can get!

At Virtual Solar, we’re never surprised when our customers’ neighbors go out of their way to take a closer look at our installation teams’ handiwork. And of course we love it when those very same neighbors set up their own free consultations and custom quotes and eventually go solar themselves. (Plus, our Virtual Solar Advocates earn $599 for every referral once the system is turned on!)


Coming from us, it might sound a bit biased when we say that solar is the best kind of contagious, but the proof is in the data. A 2014 paper in The Journal of Economic Geography assessed the growth of rooftop solar power across Connecticut. Way back in 2005, the proverbial seeds of rooftop solar began to take hold around the time the state began to offer solar subsidies. Over time those rooftop systems expanded from small clusters in a “wave-like centrifugal pattern.” Interestingly enough, rather than growing from densely packed urban or distinctly high-income areas, as scholars expected, solar installation grew more rapidly amongst small- and medium-sized populations of all income levels.

Scholars have witnessed these trends in communities all over the United States that install solar. Whether this “neighbor effect” has more to do with neighborhood gossip, getting the full solar scoop, or a friendly, good-natured sense of competitiveness, we’re just excited about the prospect! When it comes to powering the grid by sun, the more the merrier!


While you’re probably aware that Habitat for Humanity helps homeowners achieve the independence they need to build a better life for themselves and their families, did you know Habitat’s reach allows them to help a new family offset home-ownership costs every 21 seconds?

Decent shelter is something we all need to thrive. Habitat helps put families on a new path — one where stability and self-reliance are actually obtainable, not merely aspirational. Habitat homeowners receive financial education, help build their houses and pay an affordable mortgage. They are actively investing in their own future home as well as their communities. Better, affordable living conditions lead to improved health, stronger childhood development, and the ability — and financial flexibility — to make forward-looking choices.

Virtual Solar is proud to be a national solar partner for Habitat for Humanity. We share a common desire to build more sustainable communities. To commemorate our partnership, last year we announced that for every Virtual Solar system installed through Dec. 31, 2021, we will donate $250 to Habitat for Humanity, guaranteeing a minimum of $100,000 and no maximum contribution limit. We could not be prouder to join the effort and make a difference in lives every day.


At Virtual Solar, we’re always on the lookout for ways to put solar energy into the hands of the community. Whether that’s literally on top of our customers’ rooftops, or through programs that support solar, like joining associations in Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin that have dedicated their time and resources to renewable energy. Click on the links below to learn more about how these organizations serve their communities.

As of 2019, the United States has enough solar capacity installed to power the equivalent of more than 14.5 million homes. Even after the slow quarter following the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, installations have picked right back up. Whether it’s the neighbor effect, an urgency to move away from fossil fuels as we stare down climate change, or a little of both, we’re proud to help lead the way!

If you’re curious about whether or not your home is ready for solar, get a free quote, talk to one of our solar experts today!


ISEA is a nonprofit organization that promotes the widespread application of solar and other forms of renewable energy through its mission of advocacy and education. In the last decade, ISEA expanded its efforts to include working to ensure stable policies and regulations for solar development in Illinois. In order to do this work, ISEA founded its sister 501(c)(6) nonprofit trade organization, Illinois Solar Education Association.


MnSEIA’s mission is to grow solar energy industries as part of Minnesota‘s clean energy transition by delivering strong public policy, education, job creation and sustainable industry development. We work for, and harness the strength of, our member solar installers, vendors, developers, distributors, manufacturers, job trainers, labor unions, nonprofits, law firms, utilities and more by advocating for policy and regulatory initiatives that strengthen the industry.

RENEW Wisconsin is a nonprofit organization dedicated to building a stronger, healthier, more vibrant Wisconsin through the advancement of renewable energy. We work on policies and programs that support solar power, wind power, biogas, local hydropower, geothermal energy, and electric vehicles.