What is Community Solar?


Community solar is an excellent alternative for powering your home using renewable energy. If you’re interested in accessing the amazing advantages of solar power, understand whether community solar is the ideal option for you and your home.

Understanding Community Solar

Community solar refers to a group of people sharing electricity generated using solar energy. Other names for community solar include shared solar, energy sharing, and solar gardens or farms.

Shared solar projects are funded and operated by third parties, generally, utility companies, private businesses, or government organizations, who decide to install numerous solar panels in a certain area. Electricity produced at the solar farm is delivered to the local power grid and distributed by the utility company to homes and businesses.

Members of the community are offered the opportunity to lease energy from the solar farm by locating New York community solar opportunities and simply subscribing to the service. This is also something you want to definitely look into before renting in New York.

The Billing Process

Community solar uses a billing process known as virtual net metering (VNM). VNM credits community solar members for energy contributed to the power grid. Community solar members continue to receive monthly electric bills from the utility company. As a shared solar subscriber, the energy produced by your share of solar panels appears as solar credits on your electric bill, effectively lowering your energy expenses. Additionally, community solar members receive a bill from the project developer, which is typically covered by your solar credits.

The more electricity generated by your share of solar panels, the more credits you’ll earn to reduce and potentially eliminate your energy expenses.

Community Solar vs. Residential Solar

Recognizing the difference between community solar and residential solar is essential for choosing the best option for you, your family, and your home.

Residential solar involves installing a solar power system on your property. Solar power systems require certain roof conditions, ideally, a south-facing durably built roof slanted between 30 to 45 degrees. Determine the perfect solar power system for your home by calculating the kilowatt-hours of power needed for covering your home’s energy usage. An average home uses 28 to 34 solar panels, costing anywhere between $10,000 and $40,000 for equipment and installation.

Community solar and residential solar present two primary differences: Installation considerations and overall accessibility. Community solar is a budget-friendly and widely-accessible option for accessing solar power due to avoiding the installation expenses, processes, and requirements.

Advantages of Community Solar

Community solar offers numerous advantages for participants.

Instant Savings

Access instant savings by joining a community solar project. Financial benefits of community solar include:

  • Reduced Bills: Community solar members earn a guaranteed 10% discount on monthly electric expenses through the billing process.
  • Free Energy: Sunlight is a free resource, meaning members generate energy without spending money.
  • Avoided Expenses: Community solar participants bypass expensive installation costs and maintenance fees because projects are funded by third parties.

Increased Accessibility

Community solar successfully increases accessibility for creating solar-powered homes. Residential solar requires a major investment and ideal roof conditions whereas community solar provides an inexpensive opportunity for homeowners lacking proper roofs or renters to use solar power.

Additionally, community solar projects continue to increase across the United States with 40 states containing at least one community solar project.

Environmental Impact

Improve your home’s environmental impact by switching to community solar. Traditional forms of electricity, specifically fossil fuels, emit carbon dioxide and other harmful gases during production, polluting the atmosphere and ultimately increasing global warming. Also, fossil fuels, such as coal or natural gas, are finite resources, meaning the supply continues to diminish until it eventually runs out.

Solar power offers a clean, renewable, and inexhaustible alternative to improve air quality and public health as well as decrease greenhouse emissions to stop global warming.

Easy Enrollment Process

Community solar features an easy enrollment process, allowing anyone and everyone to subscribe to the service. Simply locate opportunities near you and click a few buttons to become a community solar member. Usually, shared solar projects offer contractless and feeless subscription plans, meaning joining involves zero commitments.

Learn about community solar and the amazing advantages to understand whether it’s the perfect option for powering your home using solar power.

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