What Is Community Solar?
Updated: Mar 27
An introduction to Community Solar - what it is and who it is for
You've probably received a letter in the mail, saw an online ad, or heard your friends talking about "community solar". You may have even thought to yourself, "just another 'clean energy' gimmick" that you felt you should ignore. That's probably why you're here, to read and understand more about this renewable energy program you know as community solar.
You've come to the right place, as this article will guide you through this underlining question of "what is community solar?"
Community Solar Summary
Community solar in short is a renewable energy program that allows homeowners, renters and businesses to subscribe to a local solar garden and save on their electric bill at no upfront cost. Because of this model, they avoid rooftop installation, large upfront investments and ongoing maintenance, all while supporting local renewable energy.
Who is community solar for?
Community solar is for homeowners, renters and businesses who want to support clean, local, green energy and save significant, long-term energy costs, but can't (or don't want to) install solar panels on their roof.
Studies have shown that up to 80% of consumers cannot install panels on their rooftops, for a variety of reasons: the initial up-front costs may be too high, their roofs may not face the right direction (or may not have the right pitch), or they rent their homes.
Community solar accessibility is rapidly expanding across the United States with a majority of popularity in Massachusetts, New York, California, Minnesota and Colorado. The cool thing about solar energy is that regardless of location, even on cloudy days and during the winter months, solar energy is still produced, just at a lower rate. During those months, you simply won't receive as large a credit as you might receive during sunnier months. Both scenarios are still saving you more money than what your standard electricity provider charges.
Remember - you haven't paid anything up front and only pay - at a discount - as credits are produced and allocated to your account.
How does community solar work?
Simplified explanation: Think of it like buying a gift card, but you buy the gift card at a discount.
As a community solar subscriber, each month, you will be allocated a percentage of the output of a specific community solar project. Your utility will translate this output into credits that appear directly on your utility bill. These credits lower what you owe to your utility provider - the higher your share of the project > the higher the output of solar you produce > the more credits you receive on your electric bill > the more money you save.
At the same time, you'll also receive a bill from your selected community solar company such as Syncarpha Solar, for payments for those credits - but at a discount.
Benefits of Community Solar
There is normally no upfront cost to join a community solar project
Rates vary, but you can save up to 10-15% on your monthly electric bill
You don't need to install solar on your roof or property - instead you subscribe to a local solar farm and receive the many benefits of solar energy seamlessly
You support local renewable energy and participate in the fight against climate change
It's flexible - If you move or wish to cancel your subscription, many community solar providers allow you to do so without penalties under certain circumstances
Still interested in learning more? Visit our FAQ page to see if community solar is right for you or get in touch with us directly at email@example.com / (888) 557-6527