Solar energy is gaining traction throughout the United States as a renewable energy source but the barriers posed by solar installation render it inaccessible for many Americans. The majority of Americans cannot partake in rooftop solar because they rent, have issues with the structural integrity of their roof, or simply because its upfront costs are too expensive. Community solar projects allow low-income residents, renters, and businesses to receive solar energy and pay for it through their regular utility bills. Not only do community solar subscribers receive clean energy through their local solar farm, but they also receive a credit on their utility bill based on the solar energy generated.
Community solar can be catered to the community’s energy needs as the projects vary in scope, size, and goals. While savings can vary, community solar projects generally reduce energy bills with some providers guaranteeing reduced bills. Overall, community solar projects are a budding part of the solar energy industry, and offer a pathway to cleaner energy consumption in the United States.
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Community solar credits, referred to as Virtual Net Metering (VNM), pave a path for those ineligible for rooftop solar to access solar energy’s benefits.
Community solar saves consumers money on their energy bills.
States can cater their community solar projects to their needs, and can target development in low-income communities that may lack access to solar.