Shared community solar presents an ideal alternative for low-income households who rent, cannot afford the high upfront costs of rooftop solar panels, live in multi-family housing, or lack suitable rooftops for panels. Community solar sometimes called shared solar, allows individuals to purchase affordable clean energy produced close to home, without installing any new equipment. Using this model, a solar array is built in a location with good sun exposure and access to the power grid. Anyone who pays their own power bill, including renters and owners, can then buy subscriptions for a portion of the energy produced by the system, which is credited against their power bill.
Community solar expands access to a broader group of people and provides tangible benefits (e.g. energy bill credits) to individuals and families who need help on their energy bills. Currently, roughly 49% of all households and businesses cannot host solar arrays on their own property. Community solar overcomes physical and economic obstacles to solar access. Creating community solar programs specifically tailored for low-income families can go a long way toward lowering their energy burden.