The EnergySage Community Solar Marketplace is officially open for business. EnergySage, the top site on the internet for connecting interested home solar buyers with solar contractors, is looking to do the same in community solar. This will be an entirely new way for people to find, participate, and benefit from local community solar farms, but it could also help drive more interest in the segment, reduce costs for developers and deliver better terms for subscribers.
“People want to comparison-shop online – that’s how we all make decisions about the things we buy,” said Vikram Aggarwal, CEO and founder of EnergySage. “We launched our rooftop marketplace back in 2013 because the market needed a more transparent, accessible way to shop for solar and it changed the residential solar industry permanently, and for the better, by empowering the consumer. Community solar is in the same position today, and we believe this innovative new online shopping experience is the missing piece to the industry’s growth.”
Some quick facts: In recent years, the community solar market has transformed and become much more consumer-friendly. Agreements are short and simple, savings are locked in for up to 20 years, and there’s no penalty to cancel.
• Community solar is one of the fastest-growing segments of the US solar market.
• It allows residents to subscribe to electricity produced from a local solar farm. As a result, subscribers typically save 10% annually on their electricity costs.
• Despite its rapid growth, community solar is a relatively nascent product and is only readily available in select states, including CO, IL, MA, MD, ME, MN, NJ, NY, and RI, all of which are covered by the Community Solar Marketplace, with new projects being added all the time.
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Yet as more community solar projects are developed across the country, finding out which projects are available to you and understanding the key differences between them have remained unnecessarily difficult. The EnergySage Community Solar Marketplace removes these roadblocks by providing homeowners, businesses, and renters with a one-stop-shop experience for easy, confident decision making.
“Community solar allows a far greater number of people the opportunity to benefit from solar power, including renters and individuals with lower income or poor credit,” said John Gingrich, SVP new business development at EnergySage. “Helping facilitate smart energy decisions for new, more diverse consumer segments is very important to us, as well as to the health and longevity of the community solar industry.”
How it works: Using the EnergySage Community Solar Marketplace is extremely straightforward. Simply enter your zip code and average electric bill to instantly review eligible projects available in your area. You can then compare options side-by-side including the location of the project, estimated annual savings, how quickly each project is filling up, customer reviews, and much more.
The EnergySage Community Solar Marketplace provides great value to project developers and electric utility companies as well. For developers, this is a new cost-effective channel to acquire customers, especially as a massive backlog of projects open up and are in need of subscribers.
For utilities, the Community Solar Marketplace is an opportunity to help their customers make informed decisions about the local renewable energy options available to them, further strengthening the utility’s position as a trusted energy advisor to the consumer. In partnership with an investor-owned utility, EnergySage built the marketplace to empower and protect consumers, and to be as consumer-friendly as possible. This includes utility data integration to pull in customer electricity usage information, single sign-on capabilities to allow consumers to sign in using their utility account login, and the ability to white-label the marketplace to fit the branding of utilities and other partners.