This Independence Day, Americans will be celebrating the 240th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. And the solar industry, in the midst of a revolution of its own, is providing new tools that give consumers a measure of energy independence.
In an effort to increase consumer understanding when choosing community solar, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA) are debuting the Residential Consumer Guide to Community Solar. The new guide provides consumers with an overview of community solar, expert tips on how to be an informed consumer, questions solar consumers should ask before entering into an agreement and handy links to other resources.
This consumer protection tool, and a host of others now available through SEIA, help Americans understand the solar transaction, allowing them the freedom to power their homes and businesses with clean, affordable, renewable energy. Solar is available in all 50 states, and through the advent of community solar, all consumers – even those for whom installing solar panels of their own is not an option – can now produce their own electricity.
As of 2015, there were 94 megawatts of community solar in operation throughout the U.S. and another 173 megawatts expected to be installed this year alone, according to GTM Research.
Community solar projects are local solar facilities shared by individual community members.
“This guide empowers consumers so they have the utmost confidence in their decision to choose community solar,” said Tom Kimbis, interim president of SEIA. “America was built on freedom and community solar embodies that principle by providing thousands of Americans with a new power choice, while our consumer guide delivers the key information to make that choice.”
“At CCSA, our mission is to help foster ‘solar for all’ meaning that we want to make it possible for the majority of Americans who don’t have access to solar power to directly participate in and benefit from this clean, renewable American resource,” said Jeff Cramer, executive director of CCSA. “This new consumer guide should help American consumers take the next step towards solar independence and we appreciate SEIA’s leadership in developing it.”
The Residential Consumer Guide to Community Solar complements the SEIA Residential Consumer Guide to Solar Power and is part of SEIA’s ongoing effort to keep the solar industry at the forefront of consumer protection.