Individuals who rent accommodations and those whose roofs are not large enough or unsuitable for solar systems can still benefit from solar energy through community solar gardens. This is a relatively new approach that started in Colorado and is gaining traction in other parts of the country.
The solar community garden allows customers to buy into a solar array and receive a credit on their electricity bill for whatever power their panels produce. The credit received is usually at a fixed rate per kilowatt hour. The energy portion is then deducted from their electricity bills.
The cost of the solar panels in the community solar gardens can range from anywhere between $500 to $1,400. Customers subscribing to community solar gardens must live within utility service or geographic boundaries. Community solar gardens offer flexibility in that customers can transfer their interest in the panels and if they move they are also able to take the output with them or turn it over to someone else.