Consider Community Solar

Would you like to have solar on your roof but can’t? Perhaps you live in an apartment. Or a high-rise condo. Or maybe you have a lovely home with trees that shade the roof. Or it could be that you’re not sure how long you may stay in your current home. If this is you, consider Community Solar.

With Community Solar, you commit to a portion of the electricity generated by a nearby offsite solar farm and receive credit on your electricity bill for the power produced, as if the panels were on your own roof. In other states, such a subscription has even lowered people’s monthly electric bills.

Think of it like community supported agriculture (CSA) for your electricity needs! The solar farmers get a committed customer base, and can plan their investments for the coming years.

Image credit: Sierra Club Atlantic chapter

However, we need legislation to bring Community Solar to Pennsylvania. There’s a recently introduced bill, House Bill 531, that does just that. It would allow residents who rent, or have shady roofs, or who can’t afford to install panels on their own roofs to buy into a community solar project.

This bill already has significant support, with about 40 co-sponsors. From all of these representatives, as of this writing:

KAUFER, BULLOCK, SCHWEYER, MILLARD, DONATUCCI, CALTAGIRONE, SCHLOSSBERG, ULLMAN, MURT, VITALI, DiGIROLAMO, McNEILL, PICKETT, BARRAR, FREEMAN, NEILSON, STAATS, HILL-EVANS, COMITTA, ZABEL, SHUSTERMAN, WARREN, DAWKINS, RAVENSTAHL, TOOHIL, MULLINS, BURGOS, DALEY, JAMES, ISAACSON, STEPHENS, MEHAFFIE, HERSHEY, STURLA, T. DAVIS, INNAMORATO, KINSEY, KENYATTA, SAPPEY, CIRESI, DRISCOLL, FRANKEL, HOHENSTEIN, MASSER, STRUZZI, OTTEN, KRUEGER, GILLEN, BOBACK, RADER, SANCHEZ, LEE, FLYNN, SIMS, MARKOSEK and BIZZARRO

Don’t see your state rep on this list? Look them up here, and write, call or tweet them to support HB 531.

We’ve learned that PA Senator Mario Scavello (R-Monroe) has crafted a memo about bringing Community Solar to Pennsylvania. So call your state senator also, asking them to support HB 531.

Affordable solar means clean energy for all. Which translates to lower carbon emissions. Who wouldn’t like this?

 

One comment

  1. Hi Meenal,
    I am very interested in Solarize SE PA. I have already personally lobbied and took part in the PennEnvironment rally in Harrisburg. I have also attended technical conferences and reached out to professionals in the field. Community Solar is the local term, but more broadly the idea in other states, which you begin to describe above, is “Solar Power Energy Coop,” which I think is spot on. I do not think Pennsylvania has an appropriate business model to advance solar at the rate that meet the climate crisis.

    I am convinced that an effective Community Solar business model, which is not soundly desctribed or facilitated in any of the current legislation, needs to be developed more explicitly in PA law.

    I would like to take part in this blog and kept abreast of Solarize Southeast PA activities.

    Like

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