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What is community solar?
Community solar allows anyone to benefit from solar power without installing panels on your roof. Renters, homeowners, and even multi-unit dwellers can subscribe to a local solar farm to save on electricity costs and support clean energy.
If you’re like many Americans, a big part of your carbon footprint comes from the electricity used in your home. Only 40% of the U.S. electric grid is powered by clean energy sources. The other 60% comes from dirty fossil fuels that contribute to climate change and all sorts of pollution.
One way to replace dirty power in your home is to install a home solar array. However, this isn’t an option for everyone. Some people don’t own their homes. Some don’t have a sunny roof to put the panels in. And some just can’t afford the upfront costs or qualify for the loan.
Fortunately, there’s another way to get the environmental and cost-saving benefits of solar energy without using your own roof. It’s called community solar. By subscribing to a community solar project, you help clean up the power grid and save money on your electric bills, too. In fact, annual savings on your electricity cost could be between 5%-20% depending on the project, where you live, and your average energy usage.
Community Solar provider then bills you for those credits on behalf of the solar farm at a discounted rate ( this is your subscription charge)
How Community Solar Works?
You and your neighbors subscribe to an upcoming solar farm that will feed clean energy into your grid. Once it’s built and generating power, you’ll receive solar credits for your share of the energy. You pay Community Solar provider for these credits at a 5-20% discount, reducing your annual electricity costs.
Why community solar?
It makes financial sense. Community Solar makes it easy for you to access the financial and environmental benefits of local solar power.
The average Community Solar subscriber has the following impact annually
To participate in community solar, you do not need to own your home, but you do need to live in an area with open community solar projects. Eligibility can also vary depending on the community solar project, as some only allow non-residential or low-to-moderate income customers to join. Importantly, certain providers also have credit score requirements for subscribers.