Growing awareness of global climate change has caused many to wonder how they can reduce their carbon footprint and participate in the change required to reduce the negative effects of a warming planet. The available options often don’t seem meaningful or are so difficult or expensive as to not seem feasible.
One impactful option is also among the easiest, Community Solar. Also known as “solar farms” or “solar gardens”, community solar allows residential users of electricity to support green energy. Because it’s a subscription, having an impact is available to almost everyone. Renters and homeowners alike are eligible and there is no up-front equipment to buy and install. A simple application process is all it takes.
How Big of an Impact Does It Have?
Making a dent in one’s carbon footprint feels daunting. So much is built into our daily lives and reductions feel like big changes to how one lives their life. Turning off lights and eating less meat is virtuous, but doesn’t feel like it moves the dial. Electricity usage is a significant source of household emissions, estimated at 15% or more. That’s a lot to take out in one quick decision. It’s the equivalent of taking a car off the road for a year!
How Does It Work?
Available to most residential users of electricity, subscribing to Community Solar requires about five minutes of effort to complete. Most farms, including those represented by Ampion, require a current utility bill and payment information.
- Based upon historical energy usage, subscribers are given a share of the farm. The intent is to offset accurately a full year of electricity usage.
- Once the farm is up and running, subscribers receive credits for their share of the energy produced by the site and in so doing, reduce the amount of fossil fuel generated electricity that is required.
- Those credits appear on the subscribers utility bill, reducing the overall amount. Sometimes utility bills are zero balance.
- Separately, Ampion invoices for those credits, typically at a 10% discount from their value. The benefit is enabled by state incentives support the growth of Community Solar as an alternative.