What Hoosiers Need To Know About What Independent Community Solar Is (And What It Isn’t)

Visitors to a solar array walk close to the panels; this is the kind of solar panel display that could exist if Indiana had independent community solar in existence

Are you curious about how you can harness the power of solar energy without the hassle of rooftop installations? If you’re a Hoosier living in Indiana, locally owned community solar might be the answer you’re looking for. Let’s dive into what independent community solar is, what it isn’t, and why Indiana lawmakers need to make non-utility-owned community solar accessible in our state. 

What community solar isn’t

Community Solar Is Not a Group Purchase for Rooftop Solar Panels

First things first, community solar isn’t the same as a solar co-op or a solarize campaign. These group efforts involve neighbors teaming up to get competitive prices on rooftop solar panels. However, in community solar, the dynamics are different. You’re not buying individual solar systems; instead, you’re investing in a shared solar project.

Community Solar Is Not Retail Supply

Some states offer the option to choose an energy supplier apart from your local utility company. While these suppliers might offer “retail supply” or “green power,” it’s often more expensive than what your utility charges. These options might not even be local, potentially coming from power sources miles away.

Community Solar Is Not Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding campaigns collect funds to build solar projects. People donate or invest money in these projects, sometimes earning a return on investment. However, with crowdfunding, you don’t directly receive credits for the electricity generated by the project.

What community solar is

Community Solar Is Access To Savings From Clean Energy

Community solar allows you to tap into the benefits of solar energy without needing solar panels on your property. By participating, you contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting a cleaner environment.

Community Solar Is An Affordable Alternative

Community solar projects often come with lower initial expenses, making clean energy more accessible to a broader audience.

Community Solar Can Mean Savings on Energy Bills

Ready for lower energy bills? When you join a community solar program, you receive credits on your electricity bill based on the energy your share of the solar panels generates. This translates to meaningful, long-term savings.

Community Solar Is Inclusive

Whether you’re a renter, apartment dweller, or homeowner with shaded roofs, community solar welcomes everyone. This inclusive approach ensures that everyone can participate in the renewable energy movement.

Community Solar Creates Local Jobs

Solar installations have slowed down in our state since the expiration of net metering, which puts Hoosier jobs at risk. Community solar can reverse that trend with a strong community solar policy that creates clean energy jobs at the local level from solar developers, installers, manufacturers, consumers, subcontractors and more.

Community Solar Relieves Grid Strain

Community solar installations distribute energy generation across multiple sites, helping alleviate stress on the local power grid during peak demand, resulting in improved grid reliability.

Community Solar Boosts Energy Independence

By engaging in community solar, you’re actively decreasing reliance on fossil fuels and out-of-state energy sources. This move promotes energy independence and security for Indiana.

In a nutshell, community solar is a remarkable opportunity for Hoosiers in Indiana. It provides access to clean energy, offers financial benefits, creates jobs, and supports local sustainability. 

We need solar for all, but Indiana doesn’t currently permit independent community solar. Learn more about what you can do to elevate this issue and let lawmakers know community solar will help our state, our economy and our communities.