In Newark, New Jersey, the solar farms are thriving.
When it comes to renewable energy, the shift itself is not always easy. Many companies may offer green power plans but often charge extremely high prices, which causes a lot of problems, especially if people are not interested in spending so much money.
I mean, the people know what is right, but the people also need to do things that are within their budgets as well. Thus, finding energy-efficient solutions that are also cost-friendly is sometimes hard to do.
Recently, several solar farms have been launched, so this means that Newark residents can help support renewable energy and therefore, save some money for the next electricity bill. Since the demand for solar energy is high, more developers are interested in building more solar panels. This is where community solar comes in.
If we take a look at the web page of the EnergySage Community Solar Marketplace, people can support these technologies by subscribing to a share of a solar farm or other renewable energy projects in their area. All it requires is a zip code and your average monthly electric bill costs.
From those sources, subscribers are supposed to agree to purchase a portion of the clean energy at a discount, where they will then receive a credit on their utility bill with no changes in service.
Community-solar has the following benefits:
- Support for local renewable energy development and jobs
- Savings that are 5–10% off annual electricity costs
- Accessibility since you don’t need to own property to use it (as long as you have an electric bill, you are good)
- Ease of use since it’s easy to opt-out
- No subscription fees
- No need to install or maintain any fancy equipment
Let’s try to break this down further. If let’s say you joined a solar farm near Newark, New Jersey, you’re purchasing a share of the energy that is generated from those panels. The community solar company that owns the farm will sell this energy at a discount and is reportedly cheaper than what you might pay under your regular utility electricity bill.
Then, the utility company will apply credits for this situation towards your next electric bill, meaning that what you owe is less than you owed in the past. Thus, the savings may vary from month to month, but at least you saved some money by the end of the year.
From the sounds of it, community solar is not exactly the same as having a regular green power plan. Community solar seems to be a specific thing while green power plans often charge a premium for renewable energy use.
This also means that a subscription from community solar would promote the growth of solar energy use in the area, and helps fund additional projects, and therefore help out with the existing electricity grid. Thus, traditional green power plans would often use pre-built and existing projects.
Finally, it would encourage local job growth. If there are a lot of these subscriptions, then a lot of energy credits will occur. Since the community solar is coming from the area (or at least run by someone in the area), then you are helping to support local businesses and people.
Overall, what you might end up doing is completely up to you. If you’re curious, you can take a look at the site itself and go over the pros and cons. The people of Newark, New Jersey deserve to learn more about renewable energy, especially if there are local eco-friendly and cost-friendly programs in the area.