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What is community solar?

Offsite Solar Panel Array

No space to install solar panels on a roof or on the customer’s property? Community solar allows commercial businesses to receive bill credits from offsite solar panel arrays.

Where is it available?

In some states, the solar electricity produced is credited on a bill and is cheaper than traditional grid power, but in others, it’s more expensive. There is a patchwork of solar community programs across the country. Availability is governed by the local utility. Our partners can walk your customers through the nuances of the programs specific to their local utility.

Typically, there are two ways to take part in community solar:

  1. Buy a portion of an offsite solar array with upfront capital and receive a bill credit.
  2. Subscribe to an offsite solar array for 2-5 years and pay for the electricity produced at a specified rate (most common).

When is offsite solar a fit for my business?

It’s important to note that onsite solar will almost always provide more energy savings than a subscription to community solar. This is because the contracts for offsite solar subscriptions are so short. Still, community solar may be the only option for some businesses. You should ask the following questions if a customer is interested in solar:

  1. Do you own your building or have a lease for more than 20 years?
  2. Is your company comfortable with exploring energy contracts longer than five years?

If the answer to these questions is “no” but a business wants to explore to solar energy, they may be a better candidate for community solar than onsite solutions.

Updated on September 13, 2018

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