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Affordable Solar Power Could Be Just One 3M Employee Away

published: 2014-11-14 13:49

Those who happen to know one of the 40,000 3M workers across North America can now power down their own utility bills using 3M’s hefty discount on solar panels.

3M is expanding its revolutionary employee solar program to include friends and family, significantly broadening the number of homeowners across the U.S. and Canada who’ll be able to get solar at a reduced rate and take advantage of clean, renewable energy.

"We are so thrilled to give our friends and families the first opportunity on such a progressive initiative," said Gayle Schueller, 3M's vice president of global sustainability, who announced the program’s expansion before hundreds of attendees at the annual Net Impact sustainability conference this weekend in Minneapolis. "Employee feedback has been robust, and we are eager to share this tremendous benefit with others.”

The Solar Community Initiative, launched in October in partnership with Geostellar, the World Wildlife Fund and other major companies, offers a 25-35% discount on solar PV systems thanks to the bulk purchasing power of prospective buyers. The average homeowner saves 30 percent on their monthly utility bills, and can have panels installed for zero money down with financing through Geostellar.

So far, the program has been met with excitement at 3M. In just three weeks, more than 1,000 employees have done initial assessments for solar, and about a dozen have sealed the deal to have solar installed in their homes.

And it’s this level of enthusiasm that is behind the expansion of the program. To sign up, all friends and family would need to do is visit geostellar/go/3M for an assessment. Once their information is entered, they will receive a proposal, but they would need to provide the 3M promo code to receive the special discount.

Between 3M, Cisco Systems and Kimberly-Clark, the goal is to get 1,000 employees to take part in the initiative. In sum, there are about 100,000 employees targeted between the companies, so the companies, collectively, are looking at an adoption rate of around 1 percent.

The initiative aims for widespread adoption of solar energy across all 50 states and several Canadian provinces. If the companies achieve the goal of getting 1,000 employees to sign on, 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.

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