Solar for all. That’s a concept that gets us up in the morning. Literally, because it’s our job. As members of NRG’s community solar business, we work to provide community solar access to households and businesses across the United States.
Up until a few years ago, that job was impossible.
Take your average household where access to solar has been limited to your roof. But, that comes with a lot of “what ifs”:
- What if your roof faces north instead of south (the ideal direction for solar panels)
- What if there’s a tree shading your roof and you don’t want to cut it down?
- What if your roof can’t withstand the weight of solar panels?
- What if you simply don’t like the way solar panels look?
These what ifs add up; In fact, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that 1 out of every 3 homeowners who want solar don’t go solar for one of these reasons.
Businesses often face practical obstacles to going solar as well. In addition to the above-mentioned challenges, most businesses lease office space so don’t own or control their own rooftops. In other cases, like corporate headquarters or manufacturing centers, the space available for solar either on roofs, unused grounds or parking lots would offer just a fraction of the generation needed to offset the onsite demand for electricity. For many business owners and managers, pursuing solar solutions has been impractical or downright impossible.
Enter community solar.
Community solar is a game changer for customers who are shut out of the solar revolution. With community solar, instead of putting panels on their own roof, customers can subscribe to a solar farm in their community. In exchange for that subscription, the customer supports the addition of a new local solar farm and receives credits to offset the expense of their own utility bill.
Consider the benefits of community solar:
- Solar without the Hassle: The most obvious benefit is your access to solar bill credits without the hassle, up-front cost, or maintenance involved in installing solar panels on your property.
- Locally Produced Clean Energy: A community solar farm must be in the same community as the customer, so a customer knows that the solar farm he/she is supporting is not halfway across the country, but more like down the road.
- Cause and Effect: Industry technocrats call this idea, “additionality.” a word in this context that means that you and the community of subscribers of your solar farm are directly responsible for that farm getting built. That is because these solar farms won’t get built without the certainty of those subscribers being there. The first round of subscribers will know that it was their subscription that triggered the solar farm to be built.
- Savings over Time: Most community solar companies try to price their subscription at a discount to the rate a customer would otherwise have to pay the utility for the same energy. That savings can increase over time if utility electricity rates increase faster than community solar subscription rates. So it’s actually possible to pay less than you are now for locally produced energy from a community solar farm.
So what is NRG doing in community solar?
First, we believe in it. As the largest competitive power producer in the United States, and one of the largest retail electricity providers, we are committed to pushing and pulling this industry into the clean energy future. Our customers demand it, and it makes good economic sense.
And second, it’s in our DNA. NRG is the third-largest operator of solar farms in the country, and with more than 8,500 employees across the nation, we are experts in electricity generation. We know the importance of a customer partnership and have the resources, know-how, and infrastructure to live up to our – and our customers’ – standards.
Finally, we have staying power; community solar subscriptions are long-term agreements. In a young industry with companies coming and going, NRG is a diversified, Fortune 500 company that our customers can count on to be there for them – now and well into the future.
Solar for all. It’s no longer fantasy. With community solar, we can make it a reality.
The NRG Community Solar team.