MD DC DE VA Solar Energy Industries Association

Opening The Door To Clean Energy


Apr 14



Community solar is helping to make solar energy more accessible to households and industries nationwide. At the end of 2013 D.C. Council voted to pass Community Solar legislation to enact the Community Renewables Energy Act of 2013. [1] This allows utility rate payers access to the benefits of solar power through virtual net metering, opening the door to those who could not install their own solar systems.

Solar power is becoming continuing to grow, with constant advancements in technology and lowering manufacturing costs, the barrier now for many going solar is location or housing. Only 25% of residential rooftop space in the US is suitable for solar, 60% of DC’s households renting their homes, with many in poor locations for solar production. [1] That is a lot of people who cannot install their own solar. DC, along with many other states are using community solar to overcome these barriers. Virtual net metering allows anyone to subscribe to a solar installation, these solar facilities are usually in the geographic region and installed by the utility company. Residents invest in the remote facility and the excess power the system generates is then credited to the residents’ electricity bills. This gives more people access to a clean renewable energy source while saving them money on electricity bills. [3] This type of system entices more people to get involved that previously couldn’t or were reluctant. Community solar lowers the potential costs by allowing participants to investing in only a portion of an installation, while eliminating the individuals need to purchase or maintain an entire system. This type of system increased the number of people purchasing solar with 20% of those who bought it had no previously considered doing so. [2]

Community solar is breaking down the barriers to going solar. Opening up a much wider market than was previously possible this simple process meets the needs of a public who want to be more environmentally sustainable or just save money on their bills. With more than 10 states making such a system available to the public the exciting time for solar continues.


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