More and more Americans are going solar all the time — so many that we now have over 1 million solar installations in the U.S.
But did you know that at least 75% of Americans can’t put solar panels on their roof? Some say this number is even higher.
Why some people can’t go solar
If solar’s gotten so big, you may be wondering why everyone isn’t putting solar panels on their roof.
The fact is, not everyone has a good roof for solar — or the right financial situation.
Your roof might not work for solar if:
- You rent your house or apartment. Unless you can convince your landlord to go solar, if you rent you probably can’t put panels on your roof.
- You live in a multi-unit building. If you own a condo or rent an apartment in a multi-unit building, chances are you can’t put solar panels on the roof.
- Your roof is old. If you need to replace your roof in the next few years, you’ll want to do that before you go solar.
- Your roof is shaded. If you have just a bit of shade on your roof, solar might still work for you. But if your roof is mostly shaded, it’s not going to make sense.
Solar has become way more affordable recently, with prices plummeting in the last few years. And new financing options have brought it within reach of many more Americans. Even so, you may not be able to go solar if:
- You don’t have the cash to pay for it upfront.
- You don’t have a good enough credit score to qualify for a lease or loan.
What you can do instead
The good news is, these days you have other options! Even if you can’t go solar, you can still switch to 100% clean, renewable electricity.
How do you do this? These are the most common ways:
- Clean power plans: One way to switch to clean energy is to sign up for a clean power plan. As long as you have a power bill, you can make this switch — wherever you live in the U.S. Even if you can go solar, you may want to sign up for one of these plans. Your solar panels may not provide 100% of the electricity your home needs. With a clean power plan, you can be sure that 100% of your electricity is clean.
- Community solar: Depending on where you live, you might be able to sign up for community solar, a.k.a. offsite solar, shared solar, or roofless solar. With community solar, you can get your electricity from solar panels installed somewhere other than your home. It’s a great option if it’s offered in your area.
Clean power plans
Clean power is power that comes from the cleanest sources available — usually wind, solar, renewable energy certificates (RECs, pronounced RECKS), or a mix of these. When you sign up for a clean power plan, you’re paying for this clean power, instead of power that may come from dirty fossil fuels like coal and gas.
How do you know you’re using clean power? Once an electron goes into the power grid, it’s the same as all other electrons, regardless of its source. So the clean power company uses RECs as a way to track the clean energy. A REC serves as proof that your power is clean.
This is a lot like when you use an ATM. When you deposit a $20 bill, you basically get a credit for that amount. If you withdraw $20 the next day, you won’t get the same $20 bill you deposited the day before. But it will be worth the same amount.
When you sign up for a clean power plan, you’re helping all of us keep dirty fossil fuels in the ground.
This is how companies like Apple, Whole Foods, and Starbucks have been sourcing clean energy for years. Now, it’s available to everyone!
Switching to clean power is easy. You just go online and enter a bit of information about your power bill, and the clean power company does the rest. You get a single consolidated bill for your power from the clean power company, instead of from your utility. That’s it!
Your MyDomino energy savings concierge can help you sign up, and also get you a coupon for your first bill.
Learn more about clean power plans:
- How Anyone Can Start Using Clean Energy Now
- How to Power Your Home with Clean Energy, Even if You Can’t Go Solar
- What the Heck Is a REC?
- How You Can Easily Switch to Clean Power
- Why You Should Power Your Life with Electricity
With community solar, or shared solar, the solar panels are installed at a site other than your own home. You buy some of the solar panels that are installed at that site, or sign up for a subscription for the panels, and then you use the power they generate for your home. You do this by getting credit on your electricity bill for the power produced by your solar panels.
Community solar comes with some big advantages:
- You can save money by buying solar panels that are installed in your community.
- It’s simple and easy to go solar offsite.
- You don’t have to worry about damaging your roof, or about any maintenance. The installation company performs all the maintenance and provides a warranty.
- You can buy or subscribe to just a few panels at a time, and add more later if you want, based on what you can afford and how much power you need.
- Moving isn’t a problem. If you move, you can usually keep your panels or your subscription. Or if you’ve bought your panels, you may be able to sell, transfer, or donate them.
Even with nothing on your roof, you can enjoy savings on your bill and clean energy from the sun!
Contact a MyDomino energy savings concierge to see if community solar is available in your area, and to get help signing up.
Learn more about community solar:
- A New Way for Everyone to Enjoy Solar Savings
- How to Go Solar Without a Roof
- Community Solar, the Popular Kid in Class
- Bringing Solar to the Masses
Ready to switch to clean energy?
So, how do you get started? It’s easy!
To find out whether community solar is available in your area, or how to sign up for a clean power plan, contact a MyDomino energy savings concierge. Your concierge will let you know what your options are, and guide you through the process of ditching the dirty and switching to clean.