Powering your home or business using solar power is a popular alternative because of the financial and environmental benefits. Access solar power by choosing between the two primary options: Residential solar and community solar.
Understand the differences and advantages of residential solar vs. community solar to select the perfect option for your home or business.
What is Residential Solar?
Residential solar involves installing a solar power system on your property. Adding a solar power system requires assessing your home’s or business’s suitability, recognizing financial obligations, and locating a certified solar installer.
Determine the perfect solar power system for your property by calculating the kilowatt-hours of power needed for covering your entire energy usage. Generally, homeowners require 24 to 28 solar panels, costing about $10,000 to $15,000 for equipment and installation. However, an average business needs about 70 solar panels, costing anywhere between $40,000 and $75,000 depending on size.
The Billing Process
Residential solar uses a billing process known as net metering. Net metering credits solar power system owners connected to the power grid for electricity contributed to the grid. Essentially, the utility company pays you for excess energy supplied to the grid by adding solar credits to your monthly electric bill. Credits earned are subtracted from your total to effectively decrease your overall expenses.
What is Community Solar?
Community solar refers to a group of people sharing electricity generated using solar energy. Other names for community solar include shared solar, roofless solar, and solar farms or gardens.
Community solar projects are funded and operated by third parties, including utility companies, government organizations, and private businesses, who decide to install an array of solar panels at a certain location. The energy created is delivered to the power grid and distributed by the utility company to local homes and businesses. Members of the community are able to lease energy from the solar farm by simply subscribing to the service.
Research community solar for New York to instantly receive solar power.
The Billing Process
Community solar uses a billing process known as virtual net metering. Virtual net metering credits community solar members for electricity contributed to the power grid by their share of solar panels. Other than the process occurring virtually, virtual net metering and net metering are identical. Solar credits earned by your solar panels are deducted from your total to substantially reduce your energy expenses.
Advantages of Community Solar
Community solar offers numerous advantages for homes and businesses.
Choose community solar to save valuable money. Financial benefits of community solar include:
- Reduced Expenses: Earn solar credits to subtract from your energy bill to decrease and potentially eliminate your expenses.
- Guaranteed Discount: Community solar offers members a guaranteed discount of 10% on electricity bills.
- Bypass Initial Costs: Save thousands of dollars on installation costs and maintenance fees because solar farms are funded by third parties.
Improve your environmental impact by using solar power. Traditional forms of electricity, primarily fossil fuels, emit carbon dioxide and other harmful gases, increasing pollution and enhancing global warming. Solar power offers a clean, green, and renewable alternative for decreasing pollution to improve air quality and public health as well as effectively combating global warming.
Create an eco-friendly business or home by becoming a community solar member to create meaningful change on a larger scale.
Community solar increases accessibility for homes and businesses to access solar power. Solar power systems are expensive investments only available to home and business owners with certain roof conditions, severely limiting opportunities for receiving solar power. Community solar offers an affordable alternative for owners and renters of homes and businesses lacking suitable roof conditions.
Additionally, community solar projects continue to increase with at least one project available in 40 states.
Easy Enrollment Process
Community solar features an easy enrollment process for anyone interested in joining a project. Locate an opportunity near you and click a few buttons to easily become a member. Community solar projects usually don’t require contracts or initial fees to further simplify the process.
Understand the differences between residential solar and community solar to choose the perfect option for powering your home or business.