For people who cannot install rooftop solar, such as renters or low-income families, community solar is often the only option to access renewable energy. With no upfront costs or capital investments, community solar removes many of the financial and physical barriers to solar energy. As a bonus, early participation in community solar comes with financial incentives and allows users to save on electricity bills.
How Does Community Solar Work?
In short, community solar is a subscription program to a remote, large-scale solar array located in an ideal spot for generating power from the sun. Large enough to power hundreds to thousands of homes, the solar project sends power directly into the grid. The value of that power allows us to offer discounted energy to subscribers.
When you sign up, we assign you a certain amount of bill credits based on the amount of energy you use. On your monthly utility bill, the VDER bill credits appear as a line item and reduce your bill by the same amount as your portion of the project. You will then receive a bill from OYA Solar that allows you to pay less in electricity each month.
Subscribing to a community solar project is often known as “roofless solar” because you can participate in solar without installing solar on your land or rooftop. As a result, community solar is often the easiest way to benefit from renewable energy and the most accessible.
Save up to 10% on Monthly Electricity Costs
When you sign up early to a local community solar project, your portion of the project’s energy allows you to save on electric costs. Because there is a limited amount of power generated by each project, there is a limited number of subscriptions we can offer. In order to lock in that value, we start signing up community solar participants before the project is connected.
Once the project connects to the grid, the subscription starts automatically, and you will start saving on your monthly electricity costs. With no fees or other hidden costs, it is the lowest-risk way to reduce your monthly electric costs and participate in solar power.
No Upfront Costs or Installation Required
Community solar programs are the great equalizers or the “barrier breaker” in the solar industry because they do not require any upfront costs or installation for subscribers. For that reason, the “roofless solar” option makes it an elegant solution to increase accessibility in urban areas, where there are large populations of multi-family renters or low-income households who cannot install solar on their buildings.
Looking at it from the perspective of the solar industry, it allows developers to scale up projects to produce significantly more clean power than from a single rooftop residential installation. The costs of developing and operating the project are shared by the subscribers, who in turn receive reduced energy costs. Instead of cleaner, healthier environments being a privilege of well-off homeowners, it can be a benefit shared by all.
Brings Value to Building Owners as Well
Community solar benefits building owners financially as well through a combination of commercial solar and a tenant program. Any commercial building with a large rooftop area can host a solar project and receive lease payments in turn.
We would develop the solar project and take care of the permitting through construction, including any costs. During development, we work with the property owner to sign up tenants to a community solar project from the rooftop system. Again, there are no costs associated with the rooftop system, plus the lease payments become an additional source of income for the property owner. Hosting a solar system raises the value of their property, along with reducing energy bills for the tenants and the building owner.
Supports Local Communities with Clean Energy
Last but not least, subscribing to community solar helps combat climate change by supporting clean energy for local communities. When people and companies sign up to a community solar program, they are supporting the infrastructure that makes it possible for solar developers to continue building clean energy projects. Without large sources of clean energy, it will be difficult to meet carbon emission goals.
Ultimately, community solar is the best option for households or organizations that cannot or do not want to commit to installing solar on their property. Not only does community solar give you savings on your monthly energy bills with no fees, but it also provides clean energy for the surrounding community. The decision is easy to make and act on.
We have multiple community solar projects across New York state and are expanding into new markets. If you miss the sign-up period for the project nearest you, we can connect you with another nearby within your utility area.
If you want to find out how you can subscribe to your local community solar project, see here.
We Are Ready To Answer Your Questions
We want to hear from you, whether you’re just curious about Community Solar or are ready to subscribe. Fill out the short form below and we’ll get back to you shortly.