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Community Solar: An Alternative to Owning or Leasing Residential Solar Energy Systems

Ready to go solar and start using a residential solar energy system? Great! The next question is probably, “How do I get started?” Right here at SolarReviews.

When consumers think about residential solar, they often think about owning or leasing. There is another alternative that may not be as well-known: community solar.

A 2008 National Renewable Energy Labs (NREL) study noted that only 22 to 27 percent of residential rooftops in the United States are suitable for solar energy systems.

Whilst this number is quite pessimistic because it only considered roofs that had almost dead south facing, unshaded roof space (whereas nowadays it is common to use east and west facing roof spaces as well) it does highlight a very real issue, that a significant portion of Americans do not have a roof of their own that is suitable for installation of solar panels.

Reasons for this could be that your roof doesn’t face south or is too shaded. You might also be a renter instead of a homeowner or live in an apartment building or condo where there isn’t enough roof space for solar. For those with roofs unsuitable for solar, community solar presents a viable alternative.

Whether you ultimately decide to be part of a community solar system, own the system outright, or lease a system, know that all of these options save money and the planet. Each has advantages and disadvantages.  This article gives a short overview and introduction to community solar and SolarReviews, the best online guide to solar energy for consumers, and our user-friendly solar cost calculator Solar-Estimate.org.

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