The Request for Proposals (RFP) process allows a community to get specific information from vendors on technology, system specifications and pricing. It is also a useful gauge of the vendor's commitment to the project. Because most vendors specialize in either solar thermal or PV, past Our Power projects have selected one vendor to execute all the thermal system installs and another vendor for all PV installs. Although they are very similar, it is helpful to have a separate RFP document drawn up for each of these two applications. These documents are fairly detailed and so to simplify the process, Our Power provides three sample RFP documents, one for Solar Photovoltaic (PV), one for Solar Hot Water and one for projects that choose to select multiple vendors. The two RFP's used to select one vendor were produced in early 2009 for the RISE Again project in Toronto. The Halton Residential Solar Project selected a list of a few preferred vendors and their RFP document is available for community groups interested in taking this route. The documents can be found on the Our Power website under 3. Vendor Selection Process.

There are a number of channels for issuing an RFP. The Our Power website hosts individual pages for each community group and this is a great spot to publicize the RFP as vendor's are familiar with finding these postings on the Our Power website. A good example of issuing an RFP can be found on the RISE Again project page on the Our Power website.

The following sites are also helpful for posting and distributing RFP documents:

Canadian Solar Industries Association

Ontario Sustainable Energy Association

Finally, emailing the RFP directly to vendors is very effective and Our Power can help facilitate this by providing preferred vendor email addreses. Contact us at: [email protected]

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Our Mission

Our Power's mission is to facilitate massive change and growth in homeowner solar energy. We are a Not-For-Profit organization partnered with all key stakeholders in the industry to ensure sound business principles, access and fairness to all.

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