Renewable energy for your home or small business can take many forms. From installing panels on your roof to purchasing shares in a solar “farm,” each option has pluses and minuses such as costs, incentives, and restrictions. You can explore each of the options below for more information.
The new state solar program, Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target or SMART, is complicated, so to make it easier to understand Climate-X-Change answered eleven of the most common questions heard about SMART.
Don’t hesitate to contact us and if you have questions or need more guidance.
Community Solar: Community solar provides access to solar power for homes that are unsuitable for rooftop solar panels because of shading/age/direction/etc.
You purchase energy credits directly from a local solar farm (think hundreds of panels along a highway – like the solar panels along the Mass Pike). The credits are applied directly to your electric bill. There is no up-front cost to participate and the rates are lower than conventional electric power! So you can save money while going solar and you don’t have to install anything on your property.
Sustainable Sharon is partnering with Relay Power to provide options for community solar participation. Relay Power will donate $100 to any one of these local organizations upon enrollment. Please note that space is limited for Eversource customers. Spaces open up when someone moves so make sure to sign a reservation form with Relay if no spaces are available right now. Space is currently available for National Grid customers. By selecting one of these organizations that partner with Relay Power, you can begin the process of switching to clean, sustainable, and more affordable solar energy for your home.
Rooftop Solar: Whether you want to own or lease panels for your roof, we have put together a list of companies that work in Sharon.
Rooftop solar requires certain conditions are met regarding age/condition, shading, structural integrity, orientation, and aesthetics of your roof. Regardless of whether you lease or purchase panels, you will save more money with rooftop solar than with community solar. Keep in mind that panels will be sold with your home, you will use the space on your roof to meet your electric needs, and it’s difficult to change the amount of energy generated as your electricity use changes. In general, leasing panels requires no upfront cost but saves less money over time than purchasing panels for your roof.
Renewable Energy Credit (REC): These credits represent proof that electricity was generated from an eligible renewable energy source (solar farm, wind farm, or hydro dam) and added to the electric grid. The credits can be sold or traded and the owner of the REC can claim to have purchased renewable energy that was added to the electric grid. These offer the most flexibility in renewable power purchase but provide the least amount of money in savings to the homeowner.
Competitive Electric Supply: On March 29, 2018, the Attorney General’s Office released a report that found that Massachusetts residential consumers paid competitive electric suppliers $176.8 million more than they would have paid for electricity from their utility between July 2015–June 2017. The report also found that low-income consumers are disproportionately affected.
In order to prevent further harm, the Attorney General has called for an end to the individual residential electric supply market. For these reasons, Sharon Saves does not support this method.