Solar panels, solar power purchase agreements, community solar projects, it all can seem a bit overwhelming when deciding what’s best for you. No worries though, because we’re here to help break it down for you.
Not only will we show you what power purchase agreements (PPAs) and community solar projects are, we’ll also show you why you should invest into Arcadia. But first, let’s take a look at the differences between PPAs and community solar projects.
What solar power purchase agreements entail.
A PPA comes with plenty of benefits – but first and foremost, you need to have a home that is capable of hosting a solar energy system. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), “A solar power purchase agreement (PPA) is a financial agreement where a developer arranges for the design, permitting, financing, and installation of a solar energy system on a customer’s property at little to no cost.”
For those who have looked at investing into a solar energy system, you’ll know just how beneficial a PPA can be – considering that you won’t need the upfront capital to purchase a solar panel system. Investing into a PPA comes with zero down payment, and usually two different rates.
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You can choose to be a part of a fixed rate, which means your rate will remain the same throughout the entirety of your contract. The other option is to take part in an escalator rate, which means your yearly rate will grow typically around 3 percent year over year – which is often lower than typical utility rate increases.
Signing up to a PPA usually entails a long-term commitment. Contracts typically range from 10 to 30 years. During the life of your contract, you won’t need to worry about being responsible for any performance or operational risks. The solar company is solely responsible for taking care of the operating system. This also means that you won’t be able to qualify for any tax credits, since those will be given to the solar company that is maintaining and controlling the energy production.
A big bonus of a PPA, is that it gives homeowners the ability to purchase the solar energy system at a depreciated value once their contract is up. Having a solar PV system will help increase the value of your home.
When looking at the solar power options at hand, PPAs offer customers like you, the ability to take part in solar energy immediately while also giving you the long-term flexibility of purchasing your own solar energy system. Unfortunately though many people will be unable to take part in PPAs, simply because their homes or their apartments aren’t the right fit to host a solar energy system.
If you’re one of those that falls into this category, you’re still in luck – thanks to community solar projects.
How community solar projects can help you bypass solar purchasing roadblocks.
You know what’s the beauty of community solar projects? Taking part in them makes it feel like you have solar panels right in your backyard. Community solar projects help link your electricity to renewable energy projects – meaning your energy will be derived from clean energy.
The way this works, is community solar gardens are built in rural fields that just so happen to be closely located to existing electrical grids. If you’re ever driving and happen to see a field of solar panels – need not fear, for those panels signify the slow decay of fossil fuels.
With solar panels positioned near existing electrical grids, renewable electricity is generated and then fed into the utility grid. This displaces fossil fuels, which then allows for consumers like us to take advantage of clean energy. In other words, we can no longer use our apartment as an excuse to not be utilizing renewable energy.
Just like PPAs, community solar projects require no upfront costs. You also don’t have to worry about any equipment being set up on your property. Being a part of a community solar project gives you the ability to accumulate solar credits, which are applied towards your bill.
When you take a step back and look at the facts, it’s difficult to argue against taking part in a community solar project – which is why you should’ve already signed up with Arcadia. The investment pays itself over time, because what you’ll be paying to the solar company will be less than what you’ve been paying to your utility company.
How Arcadia will help you see monthly solar savings.
When you check out Arcadia’s Community Solar program, you’ll notice that the process is quite easy.
Step one entails entering your zip code, which will then help Arcadia connect you to the right project. After that is complete, you’ll then create a free Arcadia account, which will connect your utility bill to Arcadia’s platform. Once connected, Arcadia will then apply your solar savings directly to your bill.
After your first billing cycle, you’ll be able to track your monthly solar savings on your community solar project dashboard. You’ll be able to see your cumulative savings, as well as estimated savings in the future.
If that still isn’t enough for you, then we got the cherry to top it off. With Arcadia, you have the ability to start or stop anytime without any fees. No multi-year contracts needed either. Your commitment to Arcadia will last as long as you want it to.
In today’s day and age, long-term financial commitments come with risks. Financial markets are shifting daily, and the political spectrum continues to change and evolve. It’s important that consumers like us utilize the right programs that are both beneficial to our wallets and the environment.
If you’re someone who wants to own a solar energy system, then a PPA might be the way to go, since it gives you a cushion to save for the much needed capital you’ll need when purchasing the equipment. On the other hand though, community solar projects give you the ability to take advantage of renewable energy, without the hassle of having to deal with installation and maintenance fees.
At the end of the day, both of these options result in you using renewable energy – which already signifies the good judgement behind your decision.