Solar Options: Community Solar & Leasing

Adrienne SorensenOctober 30, 20184820

Solar Options: Community Solar & Leasing

In states all over this great nation, the price of solar is becoming more affordable than ever before. The opportunity for taking part in collective solar farms is in many locations the future of wide-use scale solar for our entire country.


If community solar is unavailable, solar leasing is another option. Let’s review your possible choices.

Community Solar Examined

Community solar is a different game for the solar industry. This type of installation and set-up makes it possible for all people to gain benefit from having a clean energy source, for a low-cost. Instead of sitting panels on rooftops, homeowners and corporations contribute money toward an off-site solar farm, built by a private company that's not the local utility.


This excellent, ever-expanding type of panel connection service is excellent for many people from all walks of life. Community solar is of remarkable value to people who cannot install panels at their homes or businesses, because they're tenants and their property has lots of shade, or because they can't afford to pay for them.

Most people pay for their connection to these solar farms by an upfront stake in a solar farm, usually around the 10,000 dollar range. The other method is for users to sign up for a regular surcharge on their utility bill. New Jersey officials stress that rules for the state are still worked out by state and local authorities. This second method can be a great incentive for all people regardless of their socio-economic status to jump into the panel usage market. The more people that get on board, the more solar that will be built and installed; whereby driving the overall cost of solar down for the nation.


Solar works best when the sun is shining strong, and the days are long. Not all states across the United States have constant sun. Through the summer, farms will produce their peak energy output because of the long, sun-drenched days. Depending on your financial stake in the scheme, the production from the solar farm may cover your whole energy bill. It may also offer you credits toward prices in months when you owe something. When the farm generates less power, your statements may be higher than they would have been if you were not using community solar, since you're still paying the fixed costs of owning and producing large-scale solar.

Leasing Panels Explained

Often the clean energy company's salesperson will encourage a system that demonstrates a no-cost or low-cost payment to save hundreds of dollars per year on average. They often base this premise of savings around the concept that one saves due to the union of your lease payment and one's electric bill is less than what you currently pay for your energy consumption costs. Try to avoid the impassioned leaning as you imagine your immediate financial burdens. Leasing can also seem enticingly simple contrasted with buying. The single shop approach can push things along at a rate that can be confusing. There’s no obligation to shop independently for an installer and a separate financing house. Just sign on the dotted line. This process is so easy, and it's no surprise that 72 percent of the people who installed residential systems in past years did so through leasing or another type of third-party arrangement. However, simple doesn't mean you will get the best deal on a panel system.


Leasing is an excellent option for people without cash to put outright purchase a panel system. Just be careful as some leases come with some hurdles. Some contracts include increasing rate increases, sometimes as 3 percent annually. These often start 12 cents per kilowatt-hour in year one, with a 3 percent increase, they end up paying 18.2 cents in the 15th year. So, if the cost of renewable energy doesn’t rise as quickly as the contracted lease payments increase, you can watch your savings disappear. Get informed and save yourself money when working on a leasing deal for you next panel system.

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