Community Solar is a new way for consumers to benefit from solar energy and we are excited to tell you about it. So what is Community Solar? Community Solar provides consumers with affordable locally produced clean energy without installing any panels on their roof or charging any upfront fees.
Anybody who pays an electric bill may be able to subscribe to a solar project in their area helping to build stronger communities and fight climate change. So how does it work? The company Neighborhood Sun works with solar developers and financiers to find projects that will produce local jobs, affordable power and enhance the local environment.
As a consumer in the state of Maryland, you would subscribe to one of the Community Solar projects in your neighborhood or one that is not too far away much like you would subscribe to a magazine or video streaming service. The main requirement is that you live in the same utility territory as the solar project.
For example, customers who get their electricity from Pepco would have to subscribe to a solar project located in Pepco’s service territory. Neighborhood Sun would then assign you a block of solar panels based on your electricity usage.
If you have a studio apartment or small home your block will naturally be smaller than your neighbors who live in a three-story house. Your personal block is meant to cover a majority of your electricity needs. The power that is produced by the solar project flows directly into the electricity grid. Nothing gets installed and when the sun doesn’t shine you’ll still get the same power you always did. Your utility company is still responsible for maintaining your grid connection and ensuring you get electricity 24/7.
Finally, you pay a fixed amount for each unit of energy called a kilowatt hour (kWh) produced by the solar block to which you subscribe. Let’s assume that you typically use 1000 kWh Pepco’s electricity per month. As a Community Solar subscriber you pay Neighborhood Sun for that 1000 kWh of electricity which is now generated by solar energy at a rate that is equal to or lower than your current utility’s rate.
You will then see 1000 kWh of solar credits automatically reflected on Pepco’s electric bill. It would be as if you were paying Pepco with an electricity gift card so it’s like virtually spinning your meter backwards. And if you don’t use all the credits your solar panels produce for that month then they will roll over to next month just like rollover minutes on a cellphone plan. And that, in a nutshell, is how Community Solar works.
Now the question is, who is Neighborhood Sun? Neighborhood Sun is a friendly clean energy social enterprise with a mission to empower neighborhoods to choose Community Solar. As a certified B Corp, they meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance accountability and transparency.
They don’t just talk about sustainability. Their commitment to the planet, employees, community and transparency is baked into their corporate fabric. They are also the only Community Solar company that puts its members first above all of their other solar partners.
When you sign up for Community Solar you become one of their members and they become your local champion protecting your rights as a customer. And as an added bonus, when you choose Neighborhood Sun, you grow their Solar Neighbor Benefit Fund. This fund allows low and moderate income neighbors to also participate in solar projects.
The goals of Neighborhood Sun and Community Solar are simple. They want to create a healthy economy and provide clean energy jobs for your community. So if you live in Maryland and are ready to get 100% clean local renewable solar energy, visit their website to learn more. With their help, together you will start building a solar community.