Does supporting renewable power sounds like something important for your home? What about decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels? With 63% of U.S. electricity generation coming from fossil fuels, more and more residents and businesses are asking how they can help bring meaningful progress in a different direction. In fact, the number of residents interested in going solar is increasing in the United States. But in addition to supporting cleaner energy, customers also want to make sure their solar offer is right for their home or business and, for many, find energy savings rather than higher costs or green power premiums.
But when a property owner decides to go solar, they might face several setbacks, ranging from upfront costs to installation logistics like shading and roof conditions. For residents and business that don’t qualify for rooftop solar, or simply are interested in a renewable energy solution that doesn’t require solar panel installation on their property, Community Solar is a good deal. With Community Solar, there are no solar panel installations on rooftops or properties, and instead, customers simply subscribe to an offsite solar array in their region managed by a Community Solar provider.
Community Solar is a way to go solar, no roof required. But there are many additional benefits that make Community Solar a great deal, including cutting down on energy costs, environmental benefits, and convenience.
What Makes Community Solar a Great Option
We mentioned that there is no roof required, which means that homeowners, renters, and business owners have solar more readily available. But let’s dig a bit deeper into how Community Solar works. Community Solar programs are subscription-based, solar sharing programs. Individuals can subscribe their property to a Community Solar farm. Subscription sizes are determined by the amount of energy used, or consumed each month, at the property. Once a Community Solar farm is activated, the solar energy generated goes to the power grid instead of an individual home, helping the entire community receive clean power. In short, Community Solar subscribers are helping their state reach their renewable energy goals by supporting locally produced, 100% renewable power on the local energy grid, which means less polluted power from fossil fuels on the grid.
In return for supporting renewable power, customers receive solar bill credits applied to their utility bills. Solar bill credits are what makes Community Solar a great deal because the solar bill credits work just like a bill credit to reduce utility charges (which charges may vary by region). Customers receive their utility bill as usual, but the application of solar bill credits mean their bill is lower and customers are paying less to their utility. It’s like getting coupons applied to your utility bill for supporting renewable power.
So you might be asking, how do Community Solar companies make money? Community Solar subscribers pay their Community Solar provider for the solar bill credits — or the “energy coupons”— directly to the Community Solar provider in a separate bill from their utility bill. The utility bill remains their energy bill, with supply charges and distribution charges along with any other fees and taxes, while the Community Solar invoice is a bill for the cost of the actual solar bill credits themselves. Again, it would be just like if a customer bought a book of coupons at a discounted rate, and paid for their utility charges using those coupons. With Clearway Community Solar, customers rates are designed to help them ensure energy savings and in some cases, savings may be guaranteed. Clearway’s rates vary by region and offer and many include a guaranteed savings offer. Rates can be reviewed in the Clearway Customer Agreement.
When you can support renewable power and save money, Community Solar is a good deal for every resident and business owner, and great for your state. The idea is that after you pay your utility bill and your Clearway bill, you will have saved on energy costs, thanks to your solar bill credits from Clearway that reduced your utility charges, and Clearway’s specialized rates on the cost of the solar bill credits. To date, Clearway has issued over $100 million dollars in solar bill credits, based on the active solar farms generation.*
Beyond savings, Community Solar offers a great deal thanks to the environmental benefits. As of January 2021, Clearway Community Solar’s active solar farms had generated over 700,000 KW of solar energy to the power grid. This is equal to taking more than 106,000 cars off the road for a year, according to the EPA Greenhouse Gas equivalencies calculator.** As more and more individuals join Community Solar farms and more solar farms are energized, this number will grow, which means all the more renewable power for our grid, and less reliance on fossil fuels.
*Solar bill credits are based on Clearway Community Solar Farms’ generation since activation in 2020 captured as of 1/1/2021.
** For more information about these calculations visit the EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.