Etsy Inc., the popular e-commerce company that allows people to sell and buy handmade goods, has partnered with Geostellar, a U.S. online solar marketplace, to launch a new pilot program called Etsy Solar.
Geostellar says the pilot will help members of the Etsy community install solar panels on their homes or studios. Etsy plans on using the emissions reductions in aggregate – pending approval from each participant – to create offsets that will be applied on a yearly basis against its marketplace shipping emissions (95 percent of the company’s overall carbon footprint) to meet its long-term goal of running a carbon-neutral marketplace.
When a new participant applies for the Etsy Solar pilot program, Geostellar will tailor a solar energy installation and financing plan. Geostellar will then provide a discount based on the potential contribution of the energy generation toward the comprehensive emissions-reduction goals of the Etsy community.
“When we initially came up with the concept, it was difficult to find a partner who would be up for the challenge of building a new type of program that will significantly reduce barriers to going solar and allow participants to contribute the distributed offsets they generate to a single project across the community,” says Chelsea Mozen, senior energy and carbon specialist at Etsy. “Ultimately, it was clear to us that Geostellar’s platform and vision was best suited to make Etsy Solar a reality.”
Geostellar and Etsy collaboratively designed Etsy Solar to quantify the emissions reduction associated with each solar installation, transfer the emissions reduction and compensate the homeowner at the Social Cost of Carbon, with current discounts at $37 per metric ton CO2e.
Starting with pilot programs in Florida, New York, West Virginia, and Utah, participating Etsy community members will receive an average discount of $2,000 for a typical installation based on the estimated solar energy production and the emissions intensity of the regional electricity grid. In areas where emissions-reduction attributes cannot be transferred to Etsy by community members due to regulations or competing incentives, an alternative discount will be offered to encourage nationwide participation.
“We are so pleased that Etsy selected our platform to support such an innovative, game-changing climate initiative,” says David Levine, CEO of Geostellar.
Reprinted from Solar Industry Magazine