OPPD will soon be offering a community solar program to its customers. But what is “community solar,” and how do you decide between rooftop or community solar when it comes to your energy needs?
If you want to reduce your energy costs by using a more environmentally friendly form of energy, solar is an accessible option. The sun provides a clean source of energy that does not need to be mined, refined, burned or transported. Aside from the hardware and manpower needed to harness it for use, the sun’s energy is free.
Let’s compare rooftop and community solar so you can make a decision about which is right for you and your home.
What is it? Rooftop solar panels mounted on the roof as part of a system that generates power for only your home. Components can be purchased or leased and must be installed, inspected and maintained. As the owner, you are responsible for the associated costs and maintenance of the system.
What is it? Community solar programs, such as the one proposed by OPPD, are large, off-site groupings of solar panels called arrays, gardens or farms. Energy generated from the array is transferred to a local power grid and distributed to households who subscribe to the program. Your utility is responsible for the pricing structure and billing as well as the operation and maintenance.
Whether you choose a rooftop system or community program, there are many good reasons to go with solar power. This is especially true when you consider the cost of solar panels is declining while their efficiency is increasing as technology advances. As a result, the cost per solar kilowatt-hour is at the lowest level ever – and looks to only decline further.
OPPD’s local community solar program is scheduled to come online in 2019. It is part of OPPD’s mission to provide affordable, reliable and environmentally sensitive energy services. To achieve this mission, OPPD has a diverse energy generation portfolio as part of its Integrated Resource Plan.
OPPD currently offers net metering to qualifying customers. This is available to customers with rooftop solar and other forms of self-generation. Net metering allows these customers to credit their excess, or unused, energy back onto the OPPD gred at a specified rate.
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