Can Rooftop Solar Systems Serve Whole Neighborhoods?

October 1, 2021

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) estimates that 2.5 percent of all U.S. homes will have solar installations by 2024. That might not sound like a lot at first, but that’s a huge number! That’s nearly 3.5 million homes across the country that have reduced energy bills, thanks to their solar rooftop.

One neat part about solar power that can help the industry grow even larger is that entire neighborhoods can be powered by the sun’s rays with the correct setup.

Neighborhoods across the U.S. and Canada are installing neighborhood-wide solar panels to help offset energy bills for every house in the community. In fact, a Silicon Valley-based company called SolarCity is dedicated to installing solar panels for entire neighborhoods, not just on top of individual homes.

These communities are getting help from nonprofit companies like GoSolarMarin and Neighborhood Solar that help negotiate lower costs for solar rooftop installation.

Benefits of community solar power

If you’re interested in solar power, try talking to your neighbors about getting onboard with you. Here are a few potential benefits of community solar power:

  • Discounted installation: As we just mentioned, nonprofits like GoSolarMarin and Neighborhood Solar are fantastic resources for neighborhoods that want to go solar on the cheap. With a discounted installation rate, neighbors will start seeing a much faster ROI (return on investment) when they start drawing some of their home’s power from the sun.
  • No roofing requirements: One of the biggest downsides of rooftop solar panels is that homes must pass an initial roofing inspection before installation. If the roof isn’t sturdy enough to support the panel or doesn’t receive enough direct sunlight, installation won’t be possible. Because neighborhood panels aren’t installed on each individual roof, there’s a greater chance that homes are candidates for solar power.
  • Subscription models: With neighborhood solar, companies offer a subscription model where homeowners pay a small fee to receive a portion of the neighborhood’s stored solar energy. It’s a much more cost-effective route for many homeowners.
  • Leasing options: Ownership is the traditional solar panel model. Homeowners buy their panels, have them installed and then receive their own solar power. These panels eventually pay for themselves over time, but the initial installation cost can be high. Companies like SolarCity offer neighborhood leasing options, where the communities rent the panels. This is another way to save money upfront while ensuring the community always has the latest solar technology.
  • No maintenance worries: When you own your solar panels, you’re responsible for hiring a company to perform routine maintenance to ensure the panels aren’t damaged and are operating to the best of their ability. This can be a hassle for some folks. With neighborhood solar, though, homeowners don’t have to worry about maintenance—the HOA (homeowner’s association) will take care of it all.

Get an evaluation today

Whether you’re interested in installing private solar rooftop panels or getting a larger system to help power your entire block, contact our team at Aneva Solar. We offer free consultations and expert installation to ensure you get the most out of your solar panels for the next few decades.

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