The Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA) is a business-led trade organization that works to expand access to clean, local affordable energy nationwide through community solar. Our mission is to empower energy consumers large and small by increasing their access to affordable, reliable clean energy, maximize existing opportunities and support opening new markets for community solar. By creating opportunities for all Americans to access solar, whether or not they put it on their own roof, CCSA will work to make solar available to the vast majority of consumers who do not have that option today.
WHAT IS COMMUNITY SOLAR?
Community solar can provide access to local, affordable, and clean energy to all energy customers large and small, most of whom do not have that option today. CCSA’s mission is to make that promise a reality for every energy customer in America, and in doing so we will foster a thriving industry.
Community solar refers to local solar facilities shared by individual community members, who receive credits on their electricity bills for their portion of the power produced. Community solar projects provide American homeowners, renters and businesses access to the benefits of local solar energy generation unconstrained by the physical attributes of their home or business, like roof space, shading, or whether or not they own their residence or building. These programs can also expand access to solar energy to low-income households.
WHY CHOOSE COMMUNITY SOLAR?
Equal Access: Community solar works for anyone with an electric bill, including renters, residents in multi-unit buildings, municipalities, non-profits and businesses that don’t own their roofs. That means community solar can give ALL Americans equal access to solar for the first time.
Favorable Economics: Sunshine is free, which means solar offers reliable energy at a predictable rate for decades. And because community solar projects are optimally sited, professionally maintained, and built at scale, consumers can save even more money.
It’s Easy: Customers can sign up to participate in a community solar project in a few minutes and begin receiving power production credits on their next utility bill. No contractor visits, permits, or maintenance means no hassle.
It’s Mobile: Community solar allows customers to move within the utility territory and still retain their participation in the community solar project, making it an easy, portable energy solution.
Utility Partnerships: The community solar model is based on a mutually beneficial relationship with utilities, allowing them to provide a product their customers want—locally-made clean energy.
CCSA CORE PRINCIPLES
We promote policies, programs, and practices that:
1. Allow all consumers the opportunity to participate in and directly economically benefit from the construction and operation of new clean energy assets.
2. Provide equal access for developers to build and operate community shared renewable energy systems and interconnect those systems to the serving utility’s grid.
3. Incorporate a fair bill credit mechanism that provides subscribers with an economic benefit commensurate with the value of the long-term, clean, locally-sited energy produced by community shared renewable energy projects.
4. Support the participation of diverse customer types in renewable energy markets, and encourage customer choice with providers, product features, and attributes to catalyze innovation and best serve customers.
5. Provide assurance of on-going program operations and maintenance to ensure overall quality, that the facility lasts for decades, and that customer participation is protected. Safeguard the continuity of program benefits to protect customers and developers’ investment.
6. Ensure full and accurate disclosure of customer benefits and risks in a standard, comparable manner that presents customers with performance and cost transparency.
7. Comply with applicable securities, tax, and consumer protection laws to reduce customer risk and protect the customer.
8. Encourage transparent, non-discriminatory utility rules on siting, and interconnecting projects, and collaboration with utilities to facilitate efficient siting and interconnection.
9. Maintain a 360-degree view of community shared renewable energy market and ensure a beneficial role for all parties in the partnerships forged between subscriber, developer, and utility.