With new rules and regulations in place, Western Maryland residents will be able to enjoy community solar perks. In a letter penned by Gary Skulnik, CEO and founder of Neighborhood Sun, the community solar projects coming to Western Maryland will target low to middle-income residents and will help give them a break on monthly utility bills.
Skulnik confirms that Maryland is only among the dozen-plus states in the United States that have implemented regulations for shared community solar. It’s estimated that, without community solar, upwards of 80% of all residents are unable to afford or install private rooftop solar panels. As Skulnik explains, the community solar farms remove the need for individual panels and encompass a larger area that locals can buy into.
Two projects coming to Western Maryland, the Shepherds Mill and Flintstone arrays, will provide customers with community solar perks like 10% savings on their bills. Skulnik estimates that, for lower-income individuals, the savings could range anywhere from 20 to 30%. As the CEO explains, that’s the equivalent of skipping two or more utility bills a year. The companies behind the two projects, Neighborhood Sun and Standard Solar, are local businesses catering to the needs of Western Marylanders.
Thanks to the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA), additional financial incentives may also come with the Flinstone and Shepherds Mill community solar projects. Through the MEA, grants may be provided to further reduce the burden on lower-income families in Western Maryland. When these families opt for community solar programs, they get to enjoy the perks the solar without having to install costly panels on their homes.
Skulnik is optimistic that by bringing community solar to Western Maryland, his company, Neighborhood Sun, and Standard Solar will be able to provide ample savings to families and improve the community with a new, thriving business.