Capella
Published in

Capella

3 Misconceptions People Have About Community Solar

The idea of switching to solar is one that comes with a variety of options, but with these ever so increasing number of options there also arises an increasing amount of questions about whether or not these alternatives are trustworthy or worthwhile based on a first glance and a surplus of publicized myths that ultimately lead to more uncertainty. A notable victim to this display of events is the concept of community solar, which is a method of supplying solar energy from solar farms that essentially “rent out” solar panels to people who are interested in switching to solar. While the idea itself is revolutionary, it comes with many misconceptions about its effectiveness, costs and many other features that can perhaps seem unrealistic, or perhaps too good to be true.

Let’s tackle three common misconceptions to show that they are nothing more than myths, and prove that the idea of community solar is not as unrealistic as it may sound.

1. It’s Just a Scam

The idea of a company seemingly supplying renewable energy out of thin air is something that causes a lot of confusion when it comes to community solar. “What’s in it for these companies?” is a common question that often goes unanswered. In reality, these companies have a lot to gain from working with community solar, despite the claimed low costs to get involved with it. When it comes to community solar, these companies work with utility firms to connect the energy from each panel on their solar farm to the corresponding residences that are receiving the energy. Companies that supply or connect people to the many benefits of community solar are both saving the environment and getting paid to do so. These companies are paid by renewable energy charges that are covered by a small percentage of utility rates as part of state government renewable energy support initiatives, and as the demand for renewable energy increases more and more every day, these companies are gaining more support and funding as well.

2. You need to sign a long-term contract

Years ago, community solar projects required that you commit to a 10 to 20 year contract. That meant if you ever decided to cancel or move out of the area, you would face high termination fees. This left out a large section of Americans who rent their homes or those who were not financially fit to sign long-term contracts. The times have changed and people have started to realize that in order for the world to switch to more cleaner sources of energy, people need to be assured that they won’t be weighed down economically. Shorter, smarter contracts are the way of the future when it comes to clean energy. Community solar has the potential to propel entire communities to net zero, but it will only be accomplished if we make it flexible and available to a more diverse group of people.

3. Getting involved is costly

Unlike residential solar panels, community solar is very affordable and comes with no hidden fees. While community solar used to be comparable to utility power companies in price, it has become more affordable in recent years after becoming more widely recognized and effective. Nowadays, it is free to join community solar programs, as opposed to having upfront installation costs with rooftop solar panels. To add to this, community solar programs often provide discounts on energy rates, reaching as high as 10% a month depending on a user’s payment habits and how long they have been partnered with the company. All in all, while it’s true that solar panels can be expensive, that doesn’t mean that switching to solar has to be, and that’s what makes community solar so great!

--

--

--

Capella is on a mission to connect communities to a net zero future.

Recommended from Medium

Keystone XL Ruling Blocks Streamlined Permit Process for Pipelines

The need for EV charging infrastructure

The new urgency of eating more of these and …

Our only chance at survival!

Saving the Pallid Sturgeon

Two hands holding three young pallid sturgeon over water, black and white photo

Why the hospitality industry should lead on climate -with Philipp Kauffmann

Maize Diseases, Pest Identification and Control

Volcanic Ash in Your Eye

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Capella Energy

Capella Energy

More from Medium

Systemic Complexity and our Development Pathways

Health data for climate research: opportunities from longitudinal population studies

A black and white photo of an older woman’s face, half covered with clouds.

What’s The Harm?