Community Solar in New York

If you live in New York State (NYS) you might have heard about new renewable energy initiative – Community Solar. In 2016 New York State approved a new energy proposal Clean Energy Standard (CES), designed to reduce carbon emissions by 70% by 2030. According to the plan the state will help transition electric grid to new green sources, like solar and wind, and reduce dependence on traditional fuels. In 2018, Gov. Cuomo pledged to make NYS 100% renewable by 2040.

New York State has also launched NY-Sun program offering rebates to home owners and businesses switching to Solar energy. While roof solar panel installations are on the rise given price declines, community solar is a relatively new development increasing participation in renewable energy revolution by the population that for various reasons cannot install solar at home.

What is Community Solar?

Community Solar concept is simple. Think of it as a solar panel farm in a rural area with lots of sun. The farm generates electricity that flows into the grid and delivered to your home using existing infrastructure. The process is quite simple, and shown on the picture below:

  1. Sun feeds Solar Energy Farm. The sun energy is converted to electricity.
  2. The electricity is delivered to the local utility
  3. The utility company distributes electricity to local homes and businesses

On the billing side you will get energy credits equal to the amount of your monthly electric bill that you will use to pay your utility.


Benefits of Community Solar in New York

Community or shared solar allows you to benefit from solar energy without having to install panels on the roof of your home. This opens the playing field for more people to take advantage of this type of energy, as well as reap the rewards.

Community Solar is Free

You don’t have to pay any upfront fee to join a shared solar initiative, nor do you need to invest in expensive equipment. Additionally, you can cancel at any time without any loss of power. In fact, you will receive a 10% in guaranteed savings on overall utility bill. Pretty cool, right?

Anyone Can Benefit From Community Solar

In the past, the only people who could benefit from renewable energy sources were those who were able to pay a substantial upfront cost to join the project or finance equipment for their own homes. Shared solar makes solar energy affordable to everyone by leveling the playing field and removing the upfront costs.

Further, shared solar promotes job growth, so it’s a win-win for your community. New York’s Solar Energy Industry Association has created thousands of jobs in the state alone, and efforts like New York’s are being duplicated all over the country.

It is Environmentally Friendly

Solar energy is environmentally friendly and a great way for you to decrease your carbon footprint while saving money. New York State has been very keen in exploring energy alternatives in the past few years, and shared solar is one of the major manifestation of these efforts.

It is Easier Than Ever to Enroll in Community Solar

All you need to do to enroll in a shared solar initiative is to fill out a simple online form. It takes just a few minutes to do, and you will get 10% in guaranteed savings on your energy bill.

Further, New York State has created framework to help easily enroll into community solar program because it is heavily promoting renewable energy initiatives. The process is also transparent, quick, and often does not require any credit checks.

Single Billing

Many states are working on regulations to combine community solar and utility bills together, simplifying the bill management process for customers. The clients can still pay with credit card, and realize community solar savings, but the whole process becomes simpler and more manageable.

If you have been thinking about checking out shared solar, now is the time. New York State has made it easier than ever to make the smart switch and help the environment!


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