A rooftop solar system is great but if you are a business entity or a startup, you might want to switch to community solar because it is easy. Rooftop solar investment seems big and with long-term financial returns, there are certain risks associated with that. But in both cases, you are contributing your part by consuming clean energy and that is a good initiative.

New York is home to many people but most of them are renters. These people hardly own a small apartment and it is not easy for them to install rooftop solar because they don’t own any rooftop. Small businesses and startups are also in a similar situation. Plus, there are financial constraints that don’t allow people to invest that much money into rooftop solar because their businesses don’t generate enough income to take advantage of the tax credits. Due to such scenarios, community solar projects are getting attention in New York. Lately, many community solar farms have been developed where solar energy is generated and community solar subscriptions are given to various users in New York.

A Short Review of Community Solar

A community solar project is a big community solar farm where thousands of solar panels are installed to generate clean energy. The solar panel installation is done on a large scale but to transform energy into electricity, the solar farm is built in a centralized location. Now the community solar customers will get the subscription and they will be allowed a certain amount of electricity for consumption. The consumed electricity will be credited to their electricity bill and subscribers will get a 5 to 10 % discount on their electric bills. Subscribers will also earn credits for using renewable energy that is enough to make a reputation of any small business or a startup. Subscribers just have to subscribe to the community solar program and pay the registration fee. The rest is up to the community solar company to manage. The users won’t have any responsibility whatsoever.

Community Solar Subscriptions in New York

Community solar programs are authorized and incentivized by the state of New York and totally legal. However, the terms could vary from state to state mainly due to lease and purchase model but the users don’t have to worry about these things. For them, it is a smooth process that doesn’t have any responsibility.

How do community solar projects work in New York?

If you are a first-time user, it is recommended that you first do a little research to find out about the community solar programs in your area. You are bound to find a few of them. Among those, you can choose the one that seems good to you. The next step is to sign up for a community solar program that is in the same utility territory as the farm itself. The community solar farm will generate community solar share for various users and then allow the subscribers to use renewable energy. In return, subscribers will have to pay for that electricity but nothing more. The community solar projects will use this money to run their own community solar farm operations. But the users will get credits in terms of monetary benefits.

Community Solar Models

There are two types of community solar models that people can buy if they want to use solar renewable energy. First, there is a purchase model in which people can pay for solar panels, make an investment and then use the community solar credits in the tax. If you have a large business and can afford such investment, then this is a great option. If you opt for such a model, you will be a community solar developer, and eventually, you will have the responsibility of maintaining the solar energy farm. There will be long-term contracts that will allow you a stake in financial benefits that are generated by the solar industry. Only a handful of people opt for this kind of model because it requires you to have deep pockets. But if you are a small business or a startup, the subscription model is best. The subscription model will allow you to use solar energy as much as you want, in return, you just have to pay them but you won’t own anything out of the situation. This model is mostly used in New York due to no up-front cost, 10% discount on utility rate, and you have to pay just like your regular electric bill.

Both community solar subscriptions and purchased shares/panels allow the users to cancel or subscribe any time they want. This is an important feature because, in rooftop solar, you are bound to a contract for a long time. You may have to pay up some fee for canceling and subscribing to a community solar energy company but it is payable. Anyone can subscribe to the community solar program but if you keep missing the payment, you may get your connection terminated just like electricity and gas utility. At the time of subscription, you will be asked to show the electric bill and your account number to assess how much community solar you will need, but it is highly unlikely that there would be a credit background check.

With community solar company such as ClearPath Energy, community solar is accessible to residential and commercial entities of New York entities. Solar power is portable within the same utility territory so if you move around to change offices, you will still get access to clean energy.

Why Sign up for Community Solar Farm in New York?

Well, at last, one needs a concrete reason to sign up for a community solar farm program in New York. It would be easy to say that if you want to save money and keep running your small business, you should consider the community solar program. Another advantage is that you don’t have to install solar panels on your rooftop. That means there is no responsibility for community solar programs. This initiative was particularly developed for those who are renters, don’t have sufficient income, but still want to use clean energy to contribute to the environment. Fortunately, New York State has plenty of community solar programs to satisfy everyone’s needs.