We call our primary model for community solar ownership the "Commons Model" because it works by putting privately-owned roofs into the commons. It does this despite the fact that California does not have viable shared solar policy. It's a simple and proven model, and here's how it works:

1. A community comes together to form a Project Group. This Project Group will lead all elements of the project development, including fundraising and locating a site. People Power will lend a hand throughout by providing technical, administrative, and organizing support.

2. Community members invest $100 to $1,000 in the cooperative to become Owners of People Power Solar Cooperative. They are now members of the cooperative and co-owners of a solar project! They receive modest dividends on their initial investment.

3. The cooperative pools members’ investments to build a solar project on a property.. The project is installed by a third-party installer.

4. After installation, the property-owner begins to pay the cooperative for electricity. Each property owner will be pays less than or equal to what they’d pay with their local utility.

5. People Power Owners recoup the shared financial benefits of the project in the form of annual dividends on their shares. A portion of the electricity payments also go towards future projects and the growth of the cooperative!

We do this by enabling anyone to invest in and organize community-owned solar projects. You no longer have to be a property owner to be able to activate community powered people! And you don’t need to know all the nitty-gritty details about solar because we’re here to support you!


**Right now, changes to on-site solar policies are being deliberated in a California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) proceeding. While this process is underway, Ownership applications are closed and we are pausing new project development until the CPUC makes the final decision. You can learn more about this important fight for energy democracy by reading our op-ed and visit our Get Involved page to sign up for updates.**


For far too long, “going solar” in California has only been an option for property owners, leaving behind the more than 80% of Californians who rent their homes or lack the credit or capital to participate in the energy transition. Luckily today there’s an alternative! These homeowners have chosen to build collective wealth as a cooperative in our community TOGETHER:

"Our family's (and our collective) future depends on completely rethinking how we produce, use, and importantly, govern energy. People Power restores power to the people, literally, both through decentralized production of solar and also through democratic ownership of the cooperative. Plus, going solar with the coop will save us money, so even if we didn't care about anything else, it still makes sense!”

- Lilly, Naomi & Neil, Subscriber Owners

"We were researching solar companies when we learned about People Power from a neighbor. The opportunity to be part of this movement - to produce clean energy while building community wealth with like minded people, made this an easy choice. People Power made it easy - the community funded the project, we got the solar we wanted, and we continue to pay our power bill as we always have, only now we pay less and build collective power!”

- Amethyst & Lena, Subscriber Owners


In March 2019, People Power Solar Cooperative installed our first project on the house of ‘No Coal in Oakland’ activist, lora jo foo, piloting a new model for community-owned energy in California. We believe it's the first cooperatively-owned residential project in California! People Power chose lora jo foo’s roof from a shortlist of other sites around the East Bay. Ms. foo was introduced to us by a group of five community leaders. You can read more in our press release here.

The residential-sized 7 kW project was financed entirely by small investments from more than 50 local community members and leaders -- the cooperative’s Owners -- who have each purchased up to ten $100 shares of People Power.

"For the past six years I've been active in the Keep It in the Ground movement, keeping oil and gas in the ground in my anti-fracking work and coal in the ground by stopping the building of a coal export terminal on the Oakland waterfront. While the work of fighting against the causes of global warming is important, equally important is the fight for renewable energy to replace fossil fuels. I am excited to be able to contribute to building a cooperative energy movement in California.”

- lora jo foo, Founding Anchor Owner & Subscriber Owner


People Power is proud to be working with Ingleside Community Power, our first Project Group! If you live in the Ingleside neighborhood of San Francisco or are interested in learning more about this group, please visit their website at

The Commons Model is only one of the many models within the People Power Solar Cooperative, check out the diverse strategies our member-owners are implementing to build this cooperative energy movement in the video from our Annual Owner Meeting below!