The selection committee is a group of individuals responsible for identifying the proper criteria and weighting to select installers and then evaluating RFP responses based on the identified parameters to choose one or more solar contractors for the campaign.
It is helpful to have people with a diversity of perspectives and experiences on the installer selection committee, such as local government staff, CBO partner staff, community leaders, current or previous campaign participants, and technical experts. Some campaigns, most notably Solar United Neighbors’ Solar Co-ops, allow residents to sign up before the installer is selected so participants can be involved in the decision-making process. The group should include enough committee members to adequately represent the community’s diversity but should not be so large that decision-making is inhibited. A group size of 4 to 10 people is typical.
Local governments and CBOs might hesitate to participate in the installer selection process because of liability concerns. Although the contractor vetting process is part of what makes Solarize campaigns so effective, organizations typically do not want to take on any liability that may arise from choosing one installer over another. Below are some techniques that campaigns use to communicate the roles of the organization and installer along with how to mitigate legal risks. However, you should consult your organization’s legal staff for risk-mitigation guidance.