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What is Community Solar?

Community Solar is new in New Jersey. In February 2019, the state launched a three-year Pilot Program and approved projects will be taking subscriptions soon. 

What is Community Solar?

A Community Solar project is a solar array whose energy generation is financially divided among multiple participating subscribers. As a subscriber, you will receive a financial credit on your utility bill for the portion of power generated by the array on your behalf. 

Community Solar is for anyone that wants to benefit from solar energy generation especially those unable to do so on their own. All electric utility customers in New Jersey can participate. This is an ideal opportunity for renters, homeowners with shaded roofs, or anyone else that is unable to install their own solar array to participate and benefit from the generation of renewable energy.

Why Community Solar? 

The benefits of subscribing to a Community Solar project are two-fold: you’ll save money and will be supporting New Jersey’s transition to cleaner energy. Your home will not be directly connected to the solar array nor will you receive your personal household energy from its generation. Your subscription finances the array and you financially benefit from the energy generated.

Community Solar is part of New Jersey’s Clean Energy goals because its benefits include:

  • Access to local clean energy
  • Potential savings on electric bills
  • Local jobs and economic development
  • Equal access to the economic and environmental benefits of solar energy for homeowners, renters, and businesses
  • Expands solar access low-to-moderate income customers
  • A stronger, distributed, and more resilient electric grid

How does it work?

Community Solar projects are large solar arrays that provide a utility bill savings to subscribers in accordance with their subscription size. Your household can subscribe to a project within your utility area for the amount of electricity your home uses. The array’s solar panels create electricity every day and feed that power into the grid. You will receive a credit on your bill to reflect profits from the array’s generated energy. Typically, after the subscription fee, customers can expect to see a 10% net savings on their electricity bills.

  1. A solar array is installed in a suitable location
  2. A home or business subscribes to cover their utility usage
  3. Each subscriber receives a bill credit for their participation in the project.

To learn more, check out the Community Solar Basics Fact Sheet and Community Solar Subscriber Tip Sheet.

These materials are made possible by a grant from Sustainable Jersey funded by Gardinier Environmental Fund.