A Checklist for Voluntary Utility-Led Community Solar Programs
Community solar is a proven solution that expands access to solar regardless of income level or housing type, giving 75% of American households who can't access rooftop solar the opportunity to benefit from local clean energy. Developed by Vote Solar and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), this checklist highlights elements of successful voluntary community solar programs that can be used as a framework to allow community solar to scale cost-efficiently and ensure that its benefits are reaching consumers and the community.
As community solar evolves across the country, this checklist will help regulators, utilities, and interested stakeholders evaluate and improve programs. Using this checklist, stakeholders can identify replicable and scalable customer-centric offerings, necessary to drive meaningful participation and solar deployment.
The checklist can also help drive innovative implementation strategies that ensure more customers can access and benefit from community solar, including those that are not able to take advantage of installing solar panels at their residence due to living in rental housing or not having appropriate roof space.
Expand customer access to clean energy
Offer tangible economic benefits for all participating customers
Identify ways to promote project development cost savings
Prioritize the customer experience
Optimize community solar to benefit the grid and the community
Complement existing programs
Nationwide, over 220 utilities offer voluntary community solar programs across 36 states. Utilities are motivated to establish community solar for a number of reasons, including rising customer demand for renewable energy, providing economic benefits to low- to moderate-income customers and underserved communities, and diversifying the energy resource mix, among others.
While this tool focuses on voluntary utility-led programs, these offerings should not be the only programs made available to expand customer choice and provide solar access. The checklist does not take a position on utility ownership; it simply aims to highlight the key considerations to support replicable successes across diverse markets.
Checklist Webinar Nov. 28
IREC and Vote Solar will host a joint webinar on Wednesday, November 28, 2018 at 1pm EST to discuss the Voluntary Community Solar Program Checklist and other community solar tools, including IREC's National Shared Renewables Scorecard and Shared Renewables Policy Catalog.
Download the Checklist
Register for the Webinar
Join IREC and Vote Solar for joint webinar on Wednesday, November 28, 2018 at 1pm EST to discuss this checklist and more community solar tools.
Resources to shape the growth of sustainable and scalable community solar: