What is community solar?
Community solar, or shared solar, is a solar energy plant/system that provides electricity for more than one household, or a broader community. The solar panels themselves can be owned either collectively by the community or financed by a third party, and provide households access to solar energy sources without requiring them to install and pay for panels on their own home. Unlike private residential or commercial solar, households and businesses subscribe to the larger community solar system, receiving credit on their electricity bills based on the share of energy that their portion of the system produces.
Who is community solar a good option for?
Community solar is a great option for households and businesses that for whatever reason are unable to install a solar system on their own property. Basically, if you don’t own your roof! It expands access to solar by allowing renters, lower-income families, and those with homes unfit for panels to benefit from solar power and take part in the transition to a resilient renewable energy system.
Ownership vs. Community Solar
While community solar offers a great opportunity for certain groups to access renewable energy, private ownership yields many unparalleled benefits - and if you own your roof it is the way to go! When you install solar panels on property you own, you receive a 30% ITC (investment tax credit) that helps to significantly offset the price of installation even prior to the continued reduction in electricity costs. Additionally, ownership allows you to benefit from (and own) 100% of the energy produced from your panels, rather than just one fraction of a system that may fluctuate in price and production. There are also many financing options should the cost of private installation pose a barrier to solar ownership. Through loans, leasage, and PPA systems, installing a solar system on your house can still be accessible and affordable.
So… if you don’t own your roof, community solar is a great way to go! These systems will allow you to benefit from the affordability and sustainability of solar energy without installing panels of your own. But, if you own your home, get your own panels! The benefits and incentives for private installation are significant and growing, and there is no time like the present to go solar. We can answer all your questions about venting, flat roofs, and financing. Interested? Visit our residential solar page and register for a quote to get started.
Image credit: Top of page image via solar-estimate.org