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Kilowatts For A Cause Turns Solar Power Into Charitable Donations 

Photo Courtesy Kilowatts for a Cause

The Energy Alliance Group of Michigan (EAG) has partnered with local and national charities and nonprofits for a fundraising organization called Kilowatts for a Cause. The nonprofit, which began three years ago as the charitable arm of EAG, has a simple premise: use solar to generate electricity, and a charity or nonprofit makes money. The idea is based on the notion of a community-shared renewable energy program that would benefit everyone, not just those who could afford to install solar panels.

“Low-income households in the U.S. face disproportionately higher energy costs. Yet today, even as solar energy has become the most affordable and cleanest source of energy in history, few low-income households have access to solar or any of its benefits,” Scott Ringlein, Kilowatts for a Cause’s founder, explained to Solar World. “We wanted to leverage the savings from commercial solar installations to help low-income people that don’t have access to it.”  

Photo Courtesy Kilowatts for a Cause

Kilowatts for a Cause works with schools, businesses, and nonprofits to install solar panels to help reduce energy costs. All of the photovoltaic systems installed are at or below Michigan’s current electricity rate. The Kilowatts for a Cause organization funds, installs, and maintains the solar panels, meaning there is zero out-of-pocket cost for the entity that receives them. 

When partnered businesses generate kilowatts of electricity using solar power, the Energy Alliance Group of Michigan then donates part of the savings to a local or national charity or nonprofit on behalf of the business. Donations from each company or organization can top $10,000.

New installations immediately impact people in the community who face high energy costs. Schools and nonprofits that participate in Kilowatts for Cause can opt to have the donation go right back to their own organization if used to further its mission or advance sustainability.

Video Courtesy The Energy Alliance Group of North America

A recent success story is a 20-kilowatt solar installation at the Grand Marais Michigan School in the Upper Peninsula. According to a Raise Green blog post, the historic school, founded in the 1920s, is now benefiting from modern solar power-fueled electric systems, contributing to significant energy cost reduction. Those savings also mean between $10,000 and $30,000 donated to local charities, helping to bolster “social resilience and economic development” in the small community.

Photo Courtesy Kilowatts for a Cause

According to Solar World, Kilowatts for a Cause has also partnered with Mitten State companies such as Mechatron Solar, Michigan Solar Solutions, Elios Solar, and SolarFuze. By combining the environmental and sustainable benefits of installing solar with economic savings, the organization is working toward a more fiscally secure and healthier future for all Michigan residents.

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