Up until recently rooftop solar options have primarily catered to homeowners. Now, another option known as Community Solar is starting to become a more viable solution for renters and condominium owners looking to get in on the clean energy revolution but unable to invest in their own rooftop solar system. Its now possible in certain areas to receive clean, alternative energy by sharing resources with others in the community. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, options, although limited, already exist in 25 states, and many experts believe the community solar market will expand rapidly over the next five years. But how exactly does community solar and shared energy work, and is it right for you?
At its core, community solar is simply solar energy shared by multiple households. Instead of investing in your own rooftop solar panels, individuals pay to buy from a shared solar plant or solar garden. Shared solar energy resources are for those who cannot or prefer not to invest in their own solar energy system. For example, renters or condo owners often benefit from this option. You're not required to own property to participate in a community solar project. As a result, these community resources open doors for those who want to use alternative energy but cannot install rooftop panels on their building.
Community solar differs from other shared energy options such as green power or crowd funding. These resources cost extra or don't directly affect an individual's energy bill. With community solar, you'll save on energy while using a clean energy option. This also differs from group pricing, where individuals pay for their own rooftop panels as a group. With group pricing, individuals must own property to participate.
There are two main methods for community solar: ownership and subscriptions. Your situation determines which is best for you. In either case, you'll have to live within the network of the community solar plant.
Community solar provides clean, alternative energy at a great price. In some ways, everyone benefits when we do what's best for our planet. But some people benefit very directly from community solar. Do you fall into any of these categories?
Although Community Solar in some scenarios is an option for a homeowner, generally the maximum benefits come from leasing or owning your solar system. For homeowners concerned about transferring a leased solar system 99.97% of the time the solar lease is easily transferred upon a sale.
As new shared energy projects pop up all over the United States, look for community solar options in your area.
To learn more about solar energy in your area and to compare your options submit your information here to speak with a solar expert.