Here’s how community solar works:
- You can buy into the community solar garden by paying the company that runs it.
- The energy produced feeds into the utility’s electric grid.
- Your electric company gives you a credit on your bill based on your share of the electricity produced by the solar garden.
Basically, you’re buying electricity from a solar garden that offsets the energy you use from your utility company.
We’ve designed and installed quite a few solar gardens in Colorado that you can subscribe to: Jack’s Solar Garden (services Colorado), Venture Community Solar Garden (services Xcel customers in Colorado), DHA Community Solar Garden (services Denver Housing Authority residents), and Sterling Community Solar (services Black Hills Energy customers in Colorado).
Electrifying your home means converting gas-powered appliances to electric power. This helps the environment because electricity can be produced by renewable resources such as solar and wind, while the burning of natural gas contributes to climate change. Some of the appliances you can convert are furnaces, stoves, and dryers. Rewiring America has great resources to help you get started in this process, including an electrification planning chart and checklist for homeowners. As an added benefit for homeowners with solar, more electrification means more opportunities to utilize power from the sun!
A registered energy advisor can assess your home to determine its energy efficiency. You’ll be able to better understand your energy usage and discover ways that you can cut down on consumption and costs. The three parts to an audit are: evaluation, testing, and efficiency recommendations. If you live on the Colorado Front Range, we recommend Scott Home Inspection.
Simple Eco-Friendly Choices
We know there are large factors that contribute to climate change, but we also want to empower individuals to take their own steps toward being more eco-friendly. One of our favorite ways to do this is by supporting B Corps! (In case you missed it: the B Corporation community is made up of people using business as a force for good. Read more about that here.) Along with that, we’ve listed a few more small-scale steps you can take as an individual below:
- Use reusable shopping bags (ChicoBag is a B Corp that makes reusable shopping bags)
- Bring your own reusable cup to the coffee shop
- Recycle and compost
- Use reusable straws
- Donate your clothes and shop used
- Choose eco-friendly travel when possible (walk, bike, use public transportation)
- Shop recycled and/or earth friendly products (some examples: rugs made from recycled plastic, bamboo toothbrushes, shoes made from trash found in the ocean)
Doing Your Part
There are plenty of options for all of us to do our part in combating climate change. Even when solar isn’t an option for you, we hope these resources help you contribute to a greener, healthier environment for all of us.