Jeff Masters Weather Blog

Community solar programs can make green energy more accessible » Yale Climate Connections

Going solar can lower people’s monthly utility bills. But not everyone can install solar panels on their homes. Many people are renters, and lots of people who do own their homes cannot afford the upfront cost of an installation.

“How do they also gain benefits from this clean energy transition? So that’s where community solar comes in,” says Utopia Hill, the CEO of Reactivate.

Reactivate is a renewable energy company that develops community solar projects.

Subscribers to community solar essentially purchase a share of a solar farm and receive clean energy credits on their utility bill to offset the cost of their electricity use.

Because of Illinois state incentives, Hill’s company was recently able to develop three community solar projects that are specifically designed for low- and middle-income Illinois residents.

“It doesn’t require a credit score. It doesn’t require a contract. There are no termination fees,” she says.

And subscribers can save up to 50% on the electricity supply portion of their utility bills.

So it’s a model for getting more solar energy on the grid while also making sure that lower-income people can get the financial benefits of clean energy.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media

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