When trying to reduce their electric bill, people often consider energy efficiency upgrades, installing solar, or changing energy suppliers. However, community solar is a newer renewable energy option that many are signing up for to both support the development of clean energy in their community and receive guaranteed savings. To see if joining a community solar project is right for you, we have outlined the top three things you should know about this renewable energy option.
1. What is community solar and how do you receive savings?
Community solar is a renewable energy option for just about everyone. This is when a large solar array, also called a solar farm, is developed on often underutilized land or a rooftop. Utility customers who live in the same utility territory as the solar farm are able to sign up and claim a portion of the project. You can think of this as renting a couple of solar panels. The clean energy that is produced from your panels is supplied to the utility. Your utility company then gives you a credit on your bill for this clean energy. These community solar credits, or the dollar equivalent of the clean energy that your portion of the project produced, reduce your total amount owed to your utility.
2. What happens to your utility bills?
With community solar, you are still connected to the utility grid and you still will receive your utility bill each month as usual. However, once you join an active community solar project, you will see a new line item on your bill that showcases your community solar credits that month.
Depending on the community solar policy in your state, you will either pay for the value of these credits at a discount (i.e. buying $100 of community solar credits for $90, thereby saving $10), or your utility will simply place these savings as a net credit on your bill (i.e. -$10). In both cases, you receive guaranteed savings every month. Because there are no upfront costs to join, there is no responsibility to maintain the solar panels, and you have the ability to cancel at convenience, participating in community solar is an easy way to save on electricity costs while supporting clean energy.
3. Why are people joining community solar?
While community solar is still new in many states, people all over the country are starting to join community solar projects that are available near them. PowerMarket currently manages community solar projects in 10 states, all the way from Colorado to Massachusetts. Our subscribers fit just about every demographic too. They’re farmers, homeowners, renters, religious institutions, low- and moderate-income households, universities, Fortune 500 companies, and more. That’s because community solar can benefit just about everyone. And, they have all joined for different reasons too. Some choose community solar to save money on their electricity bill every month. Others, to support the development of clean energy and ensure a healthier environment. And some, to support local jobs and locally produced energy as a way of bettering their communities.
So if community solar and its benefits intrigue you, then you’ve come to the right place. You can join our community of subscribers that supports clean energy by joining a community solar project in your area. Our PowerMarket marketplace highlights community solar projects that are available near you. Simply sign up online and once your community solar project starts producing clean energy and supplying it to the utility, you can start saving money. It’s a simple way to support your community that you can feel good about.