Community Solar VS Rooftop Solar: Which One is Better?

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Community Solar VS Rooftop Solar: Which One is Better?

Community Solar VS Rooftop Solar Which One is Better

We all want to do our part in providing a cleaner environment for future generations and preserving our natural resources, and one of the easiest ways to get involved in the clean energy revolution is to consider community or rooftop (on-site) solar panels. Both on-site and community solar gardens reduce reliance on fossil fuels and save money, but community-solar gardens are a more realistic option for most people.

Community solar panels, also known as shared solar or solar gardens, are panels placed in a central area in a community. They are ground-mounted and range from 5000 KW to 10 MW. Participants subscribe to any amount of usage for their energy needs. In other words, where some people place panels on their rooftops, other people join a community solar panel and get their energy from a location not attached to their home. This allows more people the chance to experience the benefits of solar without the cost and inconvenience of having to install panels on their homes. And this is just one reason shared solar is a better choice than rooftop solar.

There is also the fact that rooftop panels require homeownership and a roof that is in good shape. With a community garden, no homeownership is required, which makes it a great option for renters, and it also eliminates the worry over whether your roof is suitable or not. Over 50% of homes do not have roofs suitable for the panels to be placed, making a community garden option even better.

solar energy panel

Getting solar energy from a community garden opens the doors for more people to use solar energy, such as renters, condo owners, businesses that are only leasing a building, or businesses in buildings that are not suitable for solar because of limited space or because they are shaded. Community solar gardening makes it possible for virtually everyone to be able to benefit from solar without having to install anything on site.

Financially speaking, if you place solar panels on your home, you need to plan to live there for five years or longer to achieve maximum financial savings. Also, installing panels on your rooftop involves money up front and may require some type of financing. Community solar gardens require no up-front costs.

You only pay for the power produced by your share of the solar panel. And because you don’t own the panels, there are no maintenance costs for community solar gardens. On the other hand, as the homeowner, you are solely responsible for any costs to maintain your rooftop panels.

Savings-wise, you do save more on your electricity long-term with on-site panels, and they do increase the value of your home. With shared solar, you do not get any of the tax benefits you would get with rooftop panels, but you would see consistent savings monthly.

Community solar is also more flexible and convenient than rooftop panels. If you relocate during your shared solar subscription, all you have to do is transfer your solar lease from the old location to the new one as long as you’re in the same service area. With rooftop panels, they become part of the home, and it is too costly to move them to a new one, making it smarter to leave them and just increase the resale value of your home. There is also the convenience of signing up digitally to participate in a community solar garden versus having to find and hire a contractor to get the panels installed.

Lastly, shared solar does not affect the look of your home. Some people do not like the way solar panels affect the appearance of their houses. While they can install them on other structures to maintain a certain aesthetic style, community solar gardens eliminate this concern. Your home’s appearance is not affected, and you still reap the benefits of solar energy.

We can all be a part of protecting our planet, and solar energy is a great first step. While rooftop panels and shared solar gardens are both great options, shared solar gardens are the better option because they provide savings like on-site panels, but they are easier to start using, provide flexibility if you need to relocate, and it is free to get started. Shared solar gardens make it possible for more people to sign on to saving energy and going green.

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