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How Community Solar Works

How Community Solar Works

Community solar makes clean solar energy accessible and provides affordable electricity to everyone. Also called shared solar, community solar is a program where hundreds of individuals or businesses can subscribe (for free) to their share of a single off-site solar energy farm. It’s an alternative for people who cannot or don’t want to, install solar panels on their rooftops to receive clean renewable energy.

So how exactly does the solar energy get from the community solar farm to residential homes and businesses? Here's how community solar works:

  1. A community solar project, also called a community solar farm or garden, is a large power-producing solar system developed by a utility company or developer such as Nautilus Solar Energy. This project can be located on a variety of sites, such as a building rooftop, a farm or brownfield, or an unused parking lot. The developer is responsible for the installation, maintenance, and operation of the solar energy system. In some cases, a developer will also be responsible for billing and customer service.
  2. The affordable electricity produced by the solar energy system is connected to the electric grid. Cleaner energy is then delivered by the local utility company to multiple subscribers who have enrolled in the community solar program. These subscribers can be individual homeowners, businesses, or even local governments. There will receive the same amount of electricity that they did before.
  3. The subscribers will continue to receive a monthly invoice from their local utility provider which itemizes their electricity usage. The difference is that the statement will also show a deduction in the form of solar credits, a perk of choosing to subscribe to community solar.
  4. The solar community developers or contracted third-party entities then bill the subscribers for their solar credits minus the subscriber’s contracted discount. The difference between the two bills is a savings of 10-15% or more. This allows subscribers to receive an immediate discount on their electricity bills, as well as long-term savings on their energy costs.

Community solar is a win-win for everyone. 

  • It makes solar energy more accessible and affordable for individuals and businesses leading to greater energy equity, particularly among low-income communities.
  • It reduces the amount of energy that needs to be generated by traditional power plants, which can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve local air quality.
  • It supplies more renewable energy to the grid for greater stabilization.
  • It provides local tax incentives and jobs for the community.

What’s unique about community solar is that neither a person’s income nor place of residence prevents them from saving money while using energy in a more environmentally friendly way. As long as they live in an area serviced by community solar, anyone is eligible to join. Choosing community solar makes going solar so simple and affordable that anyone can do it.

Want to learn more about community solar?

Learn more about community solar from our comprehensive guide here.

Want to know more about the benefits, click here.

Like to know about the growth of community solar, read this article next.

Now that you know - are you ready?

By joining a Community Solar project, you've chosen an easy way to support renewable energy, and create local power projects that increase regional grid resiliency and reduce emissions. And you don't have to maintain or optimize your own residential panels yourself or pay someone to do it for you. Subscribing is simple and you will save money on your electric bills with no upfront cost. All that is needed is five minutes and a utility account. To learn more about how you can go green and keep your green with community solar, go to NautilusSolar.com.

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