So you recycle your newspaper and try to remember to turn off the lights when you leave the house, but when it comes to conserving energy, you – like most of us – would probably like to do a lot more. The problem is, where to start? After all, measuring your environmental footprint isn’t the easiest thing to do, and neither is knowing how to reduce it.
Most people start with their home. They look at ways in which they can reduce energy consumption by cutting down on heating and cooling, using light timers, energy efficient appliances, and – if they live in a sunny state like Colorado – probably some form of solar energy.
All of that is just fine, if you own your home, and you can invest in solar roofing – although there are over 50 state and national rebates and loan programs specific to solar, the cost can still be a deterrent for many people. But what if you don’t own your home, or you are not ready for the investment of solar roofing panels?
Enter community solar. According to the website, Coloradocommunitysolar.com, “Community solar arrays, sometimes referred to as a solar farm or solar garden, are centralized solar facilities owned by individual community members, who receive credits on their electricity bill for the power produced.” Members can purchase as much or as little interest in the solar farm as desired, and the power generated by the panels they buy, is directly credited to their energy bill. For example, let’s say you buy two large solar panels that generate 100 Kilowatt hours of energy, and your energy usage (shown on your energy bill) is 120 Kilowatt hours, you will only have to pay for 20 Kilowatt hours of usage.
Clean Energy Collective, (CEC) a Carbondale Colorado based company created the solar incentive program to allow any energy customer to not just cut down on energy costs, but make a significant contribution to the environment. To make things easy, CEC provides all of the maintenance required for the solar farm to work at optimal levels, and even has created a Remote Meter system which automatically calculates monthly credits for members and integrates with utilities existing billing system. And if you move out of the area, you can sell your solar panels, transfer them, or give them as a gift.
According to CEC’s website, “For the first time in clean energy’s history, CEC has made ownership available to everyone with an electric bill. We have achieved this by making clean energy ownership a smart financial decision (lowering the cost), eliminating all site issues such as home orientation, shading and building ownership (renters), and by minimizing the financial barrier to entry through allowing the purchase of a single operating panel.”
Maybe helping the environment just got a lot easier. CEC encourages customers to call, speak to a solar advisor, and find out if community solar is right for you.
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