The Clean Water Blog

Rooftop solar panel. photo: istock.com

Top ten reasons to Join the Community Solar Movement in Maryland

How did you feel when you heard the recent news about EPA caving to big polluters and scrapping the Clean Power Plan pollution rules launched during the Obama Administration? Most of the reporting focused on the horrible climate and air pollution impacts, but the harmful water impacts will be equally severe.

It’s easy to feel angry and frustrated. But if you live in Maryland, you’re in luck. There’s something really substantial you can do to fight back and play a direct role, become part of the solution, building a Clean Water-Clean Energy future that benefits everyone – including you.

Maryland is one of a handful of states that isn’t waiting for the federal government to act. Maryland is stepping up with ambitious goals to transition to clean renewable energy, including wind and solar solutions that are bringing good jobs and economic benefits right here at home. That’s on top of the benefits for our water and our climate – and our future.

One exciting part about all of this is that the opportunity is not limited to people who own their own homes and can afford to install solar panels on your own rooftop or in your own backyard. Those can be great solutions, but they’re not available or financially accessible to everyone.

In Maryland there’s a great alternative: Community Solar. That’s where consumers sign up to get clean electricity from larger solar installations (we like to call them “solar gardens”) that are built specifically for shared use and ownership by larger numbers of people. They can be located on top of big box stores and warehouses, or even over parking lots and old landfills. Right now the state wants to encourage more solar garden development and provides strong financial incentives that make it very attractive for almost anybody to participate. They let you save money while being part of the solution.

Here are 10 great reasons why you should consider joining this movement, today. To help you get started, Clean Water Action has partnered with Neighborhood Sun to make community solar available to our Maryland members. Visit the Clean Water Action landing page at Neighborhood Sun to learn more and sign up today.

10. You can do this. You don’t need to own your own home or have a building with an unshaded roof or backyard (things that might otherwise make it possible for you to own your own solar electricity supply). Community solar is a friendly solution for homeowners or renters.

9. You will save money. When you become a community solar garden subscriber with Clean Water Action and Neighborhood Sun, you are guaranteed to save 10-25% on your yearly electricity costs, depending on which solar garden community solar project you are able to join.

8. You could save a lot of money. Low and moderate income households can qualify for the greatest electricity savings

7. Community solar is flexible, even if you move. Your community solar subscription can travel with you if you have to move (as long as you stay with the same Maryland electric utility) or be transferred to another customer. Or you can simply cancel with a few weeks’ notice, and without penalty.

6. Nothing complicated. You remain a customer of the same electric company (PEPCO or BG&E), but you’ll start seeing credits on your monthly bill for the solar energy being generated by your own solar garden. This is a very simple change to make.

5. Clean and renewable. Every new community solar subscriber is helping to replace polluting electricity made from burning fossil fuels with clean electricity from the sun.

6. Join with others for big, postive impact. When enough Clean Water Action members sign up we can actually move the marketplace and help launch construction of new community solar garden projects, bringing more benefits for our climate, for our water, and for our economy.

5. Sustainabile, responsible, sensible. Clean Water Action and Neighborhood Sun work to make sure the community solar garden projects offered to our members are sustainable – that they do not involve clearcutting forests or taking valuable farmlands out of production.

4. Hlep protect clean water. Your decision to join the community solar movement generates a nice donation for Clean Water Action, and those donations can really add up and support the fight to Protect Clean Water in Maryland and beyond.

3. Social good. Clean Water Action chose to work with Neighborhood Sun because they are a Benefit Corporation (B-Corp) committed to the highest ethical practices and social benefit standards. Their positive environmental and social impact is at the core of their entire business mission.

2. Easy to join. Signing up is easy. It takes only a few minutes online.

1. Lets you do the right thing. If you care about clean water and clean air and want to do something positive for our climate and for future generations, this is the right thing to do. Sign up today. You’ll be glad you did.

Not a Marylander? No problem -- email me and I'll let you know what options you have.