How Does Community Solar Work? Here's What You Need To Know!

How Does Community Solar Work? Here’s What You Need To Know!

Brian A.

Brian A.

Energy Advisor

ground-solar-array

If you’re like most people, the idea of community solar or shared solar can be complex and confusing. You might have received a marketing flyer in the mail, or maybe someone knocked on your door trying to explain the concept of community solar to you. Sign up with no enrollment fee and receive electricity bill credits? It seems too good to be true! Right? Well, we are here to confirm that community solar programs, are real and can save you money on your electricity bill. In this article, we will explain what community solar is and how these programs are designed to benefit subscribing customers. Read more below…


Calling All Customers

Community Solar is defined by the US Department of Energy as any solar project or solar purchasing program where the benefits generated are realized by the participating customers. The customers for community solar can be individuals, businesses, or other types of groups like nonprofits.  Customers can participate in community solar by becoming subscribers. By subscribing, customers will receive bill credits on their monthly electric utility bills that offset electricity charges.

Through community solar projects, the benefits of solar are becoming available to customers who are not able to take advantage of traditional rooftop solar, such as renters, multi-tenant building dwellers, or customers whose roofs cannot support solar panels. Community solar provides equal access to all economic and environmental benefits.


 

Creating Community Solar Programs

As of December 2021, 39 states have community solar facilities. Community solar programs are sometimes referred to as roofless solar, community solar gardens, or shared solar. Project developers build community solar facilities and work to build a customer base by offering money-saving subscription options. The solar installations are generally built on leased land and are well designed allowing the land and operate for at least two decades. 


 

The Goal of Community Solar

The goal of community solar is to harness the inexhaustible energy of the sun and use it to produce clean electricity with zero carbon emissions. Through technological innovation, tax incentives and government policies supporting community solar, and a push from consumers to protect our natural resources and preserve our clean air and water, solar energy initiatives are growing. Community solar, in particular, provides solar opportunities for those who may not otherwise be able to take advantage of solar energy production. With community solar, customers can lower their energy bills and, contribute to a more resilient electricity grid while supporting local job creation, and economic resiliency in our local communities.

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