People often associate environmental choices with expensive ones. But could choosing solar actually save you money? What about if you’re a household or a business? And what are community solar farms really about? In this post, we will run you through the key things you need to know to decide if community solar power will save you money on your energy bills.
What is a Community Solar Farm?
Community solar farms use capital from investors to build solar capacity. In return investors either get energy directly or are rewarded with credit and/or tax benefits. Depending on the system, you either buy a solar panel that is subsequently installed or you purchase kW capacity directly. Community solar farms also offer advantages over individual solar panel installations. Advantages include efficiency, expertise, and increased participation opportunities.
Essentially, community solar farms offer individuals and businesses a subscription service for cheaper energy. In return, community solar farms are able to establish larger-scale solar farms capable of feeding greener energy into the national grid. Community solar farms are also growing fast, with new installations expected to reach an additional 1 gigawatt of energy every year.
How do Community Solar Farms Save you Money?
There are numerous ways that solar power can save you money on your energy bills with prices of solar dropping year on year. With community solar farms you can save even more thanks to the benefits of scale. Here, we outline some of the main ways community solar farms reduce your bills:
- Guaranteed savings offers
Community solar farms often offer discounts on bills for subscribers and savings guarantees. This is often linked to an individual customer’s allocation of solar panels on a farm. The panels you contribute produce energy that gets converted into money off from your bills. The more you have the more you’ll save.
However, community solar farms simply provide energy that gets plugged into the national grid. As such, you receive these rewards in the form of solar bill credits that are applied to your utility bill. Bear in mind that not all community solar farms offer guaranteed savings offers.
- Sophisticated modelling
Some community solar farms don’t offer guaranteed savings assurances. Instead, they offer competitive rates built on complex models designed to offer customers the opportunity to save money. They work off a careful reading of historical utility prices, seasonal variations, and future cost predictions. After factoring in these considerations, they then design solar bill credit rates to reduce customer energy bills.
- No upfront fees
When installing solar panels on your own home, there are usually upfront costs and installation fees. In contrast, community solar farms typically only take your money once they are already generating you solar bill credits. This means you can get involved even prior to construction, safe in the knowledge that you won’t be charged anything before you can benefit from your subscription.
Community solar farm projects can only ever offer a limited number of subscriptions. This is related to the amount of power the project can generate overall. However, they are able to produce energy more efficiently than individual installations allow. Moreover, people who don’t own land or their own home can stand to benefit from these savings.
- No maintenance fees
When people install solar on their own homes, there are usually associated maintenance costs. With community, solar farms maintenance fees are rarely charged. This is because, through the benefits of scale and centralized oversite, they are able to offer cheaper rates and efficiently manage maintenance.
- No green premium
Unlike green energy offered by utilities, community solar farms don’t charge you over the odds. Instead, it is quite the opposite. Whereas utility companies tend to ramp up the price of energy provided by wind and solar, community solar farms offer rates below the standard rates charged by central utilities.
Community solar farms are growing in popularity thanks to their attractive rates for renters, homeowners, and businesses alike. They also offer investors the opportunity to help the environment and save money at the same time. Moreover, they do this without investors having to get involved with the nitty gritty of installation and maintenance.
If you’re interested in green energy and don’t want to pay over the odds, community solar farms might just be what you are looking for.