What is Community Solar?

Groundswell is energized to welcome new community solar subscribers to share power every day. We are making clean energy more equitable and accessible to everyone throughout the communities we serve through community solar. 

For many, this is their first time hearing about community solar, much less subscribing to it, so we wanted to take a moment to answer some of the most common questions we hear from new community solar subscribers.

What is community solar?

Community solar enables you and your neighbors to subscribe to locally produced solar electricity, whether you rent or own your home. It creates solar access for everyone! The solar energy is generated at a location like a school or church in your community, so you don’t have to install anything at your home or apartment.

Additionally, Groundswell’s community solar model helps neighbors share power with neighbors. When you join Groundswell as a subscriber, you make solar savings available to Empowered households, who are income-qualifying neighbors with high energy burdens.

Where is community solar from Groundswell available?

Groundswell currently has community solar projects in Maryland, Illinois, and Washington D.C. The next round of subscriber applications is now being accepted, so click here to see if you are in a qualifying area.

Will I still receive power from my local utility company?

Yes. Your electric utility will continue to supply your power. The difference is that you will see credits on your bill reflecting the solar power generated on your behalf by the solar panels associated with your subscription. In the District, a typical household can expect about half of their electricity usage to be covered by solar power.   

Because your subscription is for the energy produced by a set portion of a community solar installation, this model ensures that you never pay for more electricity than you can use.

Will you be placing solar panels or other equipment on my roof? 

No, your community solar project will generate clean energy from a central location such as a local church, school, or apartment complex. There is no need to install anything on your home or apartment.

What about if I rent my home or live in an apartment?

Groundswell’s SharePower™ community solar program is available to everyone, regardless if you rent or own. Also, community solar participation is flexible – Groundswell doesn’t require long-term contracts, and your subscription can move with you within the same electricity service territory. 

How will this affect my energy bill? 

Community solar subscribers will receive a credit on their monthly energy bill for the power generated by their Groundswell project. These credits on your energy bill will vary from month to month. You’ll typically see a bigger credit during the summer months when the sun shines a lot, and the days are longer. 

If you live in DC and subscribe to community solar, you can see how to find this credit on your PEPCO bill, click here.

If you have any other questions about your Groundswell community solar subscription, please feel free to reach out to our customer service team at customerservice@groundswell.org or (202) 505-3051. We look forward to talking with you!