Today, only a small minority of American households and businesses have access to solar because they rent, live in multi-tenant buildings, have roofs that are unable to host a solar system, or for some other reason are not in a position to install solar onsite. Community solar refers to local solar facilities shared by multiple community subscribers who receive credit on their electricity bills for their share of the power produced. This model for solar is being rapidly adopted nationwide. Community solar provides homeowners, renters, and businesses equal access to the economic and environmental benefits of solar energy generation regardless of the physical attributes or ownership of their home or business. Community solar expands access to solar for all, including low-to-moderate income customers, all while building a stronger, distributed, and more resilient electric grid. It’s important to note that CCSA defines community solar as competitive, third-party developed solar installations not owned by the electric utility.
Lower Energy Bills
Locally produced solar provides homeowners, renters, and businesses equal access to the cost- saving benefits of solar energy.
Local Job Creation & Economic Impact
Local energy creates good-paying jobs in communities across the United States. Local solar also provides economic opportunities for farmers and other landowners through land leases and provides significant tax revenue to local municipalities, which, in turn, can fund local public services and infrastructure improvement projects.
Reduced Grid Costs
By generating energy closer to the consumer, local solar reduces demand for costly, large-scale utility and distribution infrastructure, and avoids line losses that result from transmitting power across long distances.
A More Resilient Grid
Local solar energy, especially when paired with battery storage, will make the electric grid more resilient to weather, climate, and large-scale disruptions. Instead of relying on giant power plants and the poles and wires to transmit power hundreds of miles, a distributed grid of local solar facilities can flatten load curves and reduce outages.
Expanding the market creates opportunities for competition, innovation, and equitable access to the benefits of renewable energy. This will lead to more efficient products, faster deployment of renewables, increased saving for customers, and greater economic benefits, especially for low- and moderate-income communities.
More Equitable Participation
Everyone with an electric bill can directly participate in and benefit from rooftop and community solar. With intentional action including policy and programming support, local energy includes low- wealth communities who have been most impacted by pollution from traditional power plants.
Typically between 10% to 20%, depending on your community solar installation and provider. Subscribers sign up to pay for the electricity produced by a portion of their community solar array, often at a discounted price. It’s important to note that your savings are typically seen over the entire year. That’s because your savings will vary throughout the year.
Third-party, competitive community solar programs must be enabled by state policy or legislation. If you live in a state that allows access to community solar, you can subscribe to solar power generated by solar panels located somewhere besides your property. In states with competitive marketplaces, community solar providers can offer simple subscriptions that save you money on electricity almost immediately.
Contact the state-level elected officials that represent you at your state capitol and tell them that you want the option to support the generation of clean, local solar energy through community solar. Go to our Contact Us page and reach out to us on how best to get involved. We’d love to hear from you.
Want to join us in our mission to create access to solar for all?
We’re always ready to chat with potential members and teammates who are passionate about changing our shared energy future.