SAN JOSE, Calif. (8/20/10)--Members of San Jose (Calif.) CU can go solar through a new program that allows them to purchase residential solar electric and solar thermal systems at a reduced cost. The first-of-its-kind San Jose Employee Solar Group Buy program results from a partnership between the credit union and San Jose’s Solar America City Program. A group of 130 city employees and retirees negotiated the group buy. Both organizations will provide technical and strategic help to group members. The group buy model lowers solar system costs for homeowners and encourages community participation. The group aims to install solar power in more than 130 homes. SunPower Corp. and SunWater Solar will provide solar power for the group. The companies will work with homeowners to perform site assessments to determine sizes and design. Installations will take place between September and February. “Solar thermal can significantly reduce utility bills today while insulating system owners from the high energy costs of tomorrow,” said Justin Weil, president, SunWater Solar. San Jose has installed more solar power than any city in the state. From Jan. 1, 2007 to July 7, 2010, the city installed 14.9 megawatts of power across 1,737 sites, according to the California Solar Initiative. San Jose CU has $125 million in assets.