How Does Community Solar Billing Work?

Community Involvement


If you are thinking about going solar, there are a number of factors worth considering. Community solar specifically has a number of advantages that make it a worthwhile choice for those who are thinking about going solar. Read below for more information on community solar’s benefits, including the advantages of community solar billing.



How Community Solar Works

Traditional solar involves installing solar panels somewhere on a property. Those solar panels are dedicated to the energy needs of that property alone. Simply put, community solar is a collective arrangement through which multiple subscribing properties draw energy from shared solar panels. Property owners—and, yes, even renters—subscribe to a community-solar site (called a farm or garden) in their area. The price that each subscriber pays will vary according to how energy they use at their property on a monthly basis. As the community-solar site generates energy, it is distributed to the subscribers. There is ample clean energy for each subscriber to use.


Billing And Community Solar

The question of billing is an important one that is easy to explain. If you decided to subscribe to a community-solar site, you would pay that solar company for energy credits. You would continue to receive your standard utility bill. However, you could use your solar-community credits to pay the costs and fees that the electric company charges. Because the community-solar credits would be less expensive than the rate you paid your conventional provider, you would end up saving money. Your savings will vary by state, but Join Solar estimates a savings of at least 10 percent and as much as 15 percent, depending on where you live.


Not only would you be saving money with community solar over your conventional bill; you could actually make money from your community-solar subscription. Here’s how it works. When your subscription credits offset your conventional energy bill, you may end up having a credit surplus. You could turn around and sell those excess credits to your conventional provider, for it to redistribute, making money on the deal. By the same token, if you decided to purchase a batter storage system for your property, you could choose to store your excess energy for later use. Under such an arrangement, it would be possible for you to live completely off the conventional energy grid.


Other Benefits of Community Solar

If you became self-sufficient, that would mean you would not have to rely on your electric company any longer. Plus, solar energy is cheaper now than it has been in the past. Your new reliance on community solar would mean that the conventional grid would be less taxes, especially during peak usage, meaning that an outage would be less likely for those still on the grid.


Another advantage of community-solar sites is that they can be located almost anywhere. This makes them easier to access for maintenance purposes. De-centralizing the energy grid also means there’s less likelihood of an outage stemming from mechanical failure or weather.

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Community solar works a lot like a community garden. Local utility customers sign up for subscriptions to a central solar facility—known as a community solar garden—and receive credit on their utility bills for energy produced..

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