Just because you rent or live in a condo with homeowner’s association (HOA) restrictions doesn’t mean you can’t use solar power. A new concept called community solar allows people who get an electric bill to buy into solar energy projects and receive credit on their bills. EnergySage, the first national marketplace for rooftop solar, has just launched a marketplace for community solar, making it easy for U.S. consumers to buy shared solar energy.
Community solar projects allow consumers to buy small portions of existing or planned solar energy farms or installations. Now EnergySage makes it easier to find community solar projects. As with farm sharing projects with which you benefit from a share of the crops grown on a farm located somewhere else, a community solar power project isn’t directly connected to your dwelling. It’s not on your roof and there’s no power supply cable running from the project directly to your home.
However, through coordinated arrangements made between major utility companies and community solar companies such as Arcadia Power, for example, you receive credit on your electric bill for energy your portion of the solar power project adds to the power grid, even if it’s in a distant state.
Community solar is a relatively new concept, but there are already established companies, such as Arcadia Power, BlueWave, SunShare, and Syncarpha, that are making it a reality. These four have already signed on with EnergySage’s Community Solar Marketplace, so now consumers can invest in solar energy projects in 43 states and the District of Columbia.
To be clear, you can’t use an investment in a community solar project to make a profit, but you do receive credit directly on your electric bill once the project is up and running and adding power to the national power grid. Investments can start at just a few hundred dollars and will take years to return fully as electric bill credits. Community solar projects give you a way to support clean energy and get your money back over time.
“EnergySage is helping to bring our inclusive Community Solar program to both renters and homeowners in all 50 states,” said Kiran Bhatraju, Arcadia Power’s co-founder and CEO. “They have a proven track record of successfully helping consumers make informed solar decisions and a unique ability to convert solar shoppers into solar buyers. The EnergySage Community Solar Marketplace is a perfect channel to help facilitate the increasing demand for community solar across the country.”
For information on community solar projects in your area and to check to see if your utility company is participating you can check the EnergySage website here.