A campaign website serves as the online clearinghouse for information about the campaign and, as such, all communications and outreach should direct residents to the website. Since developing a website can take time, it is important to prioritize preparing its content early in the planning process. The core team will need to determine who will host the website, either through an existing domain or hosted independently under a unique URL, and who will be responsible for designing and managing website content.
Examples of different formats can be found on Solar United Neighbors’ Solar Co-op websites, Philadelphia Energy Authority’s Solarize Philly website, and Solar CrowdSource’s Solarize webpages. RMI’s forthcoming Inclusive Solarize Campaign Website Content Template contains sample content for a Solarize website and examples of websites to emulate. Typical Solarize website sections are listed below.
- How it works: Provide a concise summary of the campaign, including an explanation of the Solarize process, benefits, and time line.
- Why go solar now: Provide a summary of the benefits of rooftop solar in general and in the context of a Solarize campaign and display any special grant and financing offerings for target residents (e.g., LMI households).
- Interest and sign-up form: Provide a place for people to sign up to receive more information and begin their solar journey. This form should be easy to find and quick to fill out. The following are typical parts of the sign-up form:
- Resident information: This includes the participant’s name, phone number, email, and address. This can also include optional questions regarding participant demographics (e.g., number of household members, income level, and race) and solar education and interest (e.g., if they have previously considered solar and how they heard about the campaign) to measure the effectiveness of the campaign outreach strategy and progress toward campaign goals.
- Home suitability: This includes a participant’s home ownership status, typical electricity bill, and roof condition to help the core team or installers prescreen participants. Electricity bill questions are typically optional, as many residents may struggle to find the information and the installer can request it later. Residents who do not pass the screening can be directed toward other offerings such as community solar or roof repair resources.
- Financing and incentives: This includes resident interest in financing options and, if applicable, eligibility requirements for income-qualified solar incentives (e.g., listing income limits or other programs that will be used as a proxy). The core team will likely need to follow up with applicants directly to confirm their qualification.
- Selection criteria: If the campaign structure enables participants to select solar installers (as opposed to issuing an RFP prior to the campaign and having the core team select the installers), this section includes preferred solar installer characteristics.
- Additional offerings: If applicable, this includes customer interest in additional campaign offerings — such as energy efficiency, battery storage, and EV charging — to ensure the selected installer follow up with the relevant additional information.
- FAQs: Cover basic solar and campaign questions to quickly answer common questions and funnel more detailed questions to campaign staff.
- Events: List all relevant upcoming events, including community workshops, technical workshops, Q&A sessions, and more.
- Progress tracker: Provide some type of engagement or progress tracker to help residents understand the community excitement for the effort (e.g., a “thermometer” graphic indicating the number of sign-ups or installs in relation to the campaign’s goals).
- Testimonials: Include content such as pictures of residents with their installed systems and testimonials to help users relate to the campaign and demonstrate legitimacy and local excitement.
Suggested Next Steps:
Develop the campaign website, leveraging RMI’s forthcoming Inclusive Solarize Campaign Website Content Template where helpful.