Across Florida, solar interest has been kicking up into high gear. Two solar ballot initiatives are fighting for a spot on the 2016 ballot, and major utilities are making massive strides to build solar energy facilities with equally massive outputs. But what about the homeowners? What happened to the power they hold by utilizing solar energy installations in their sunny Central Florida homes?

As the cost of solar panels goes down, more and more individuals and small businesses have the chance to harness the power of the sun, and that’s just what Central Florida Solar Advocates works to encourage. The group recently launched East Orange Solar Co-op, a homeowner cooperative community including both Orlando and Winter Park, and among friends, family, and anyone who will listen, they spread the news about the environmental and financial benefits of energy independence.

The innovative movement sparked connections with a number of solar energy equipment installers in Orlando, and they’ve even been able to enlist the expertise of a nonprofit called Community Power Network, who has experience organizing grass-roots movements within the solar industry.

There are few, if any, organizations like Central Florida Solar Advocates in the greater Orlando area, and as their solar community continues to spread, they continue to build their membership and have even been awarded grants to promote the concept.

The idea of individual homeowners, business owners, and other community members coming together to promote clean, renewable energies is nothing new. But the important part is that it’s growing. The solar industry continues to flourish within the single home market. But with volume discounts for an entire co-op, there is no reason cost should be an issue, even for the “little guy” with big solar dreams.