Get Community Solar for Your House, Apartment or Condo.

Renters Can Pay Less for Electricity. No Rooftop Required.

Is Community Solar for You?

Installing a solar power system at your home is no longer the only option if you want to say goodbye to ever-rising electricity bills and support this renewable energy source. Community, or shared, solar may be a good alternative if:

  • You’d like to “go solar,” but your home’s rooftop faces the wrong way or has too much shade
  • You’re a renter or own a condo in a large building and want to support solar power
  • You’re concerned about how solar panels would look on your roof, the number of shade trees you might have to cut down or any additional around-the-house maintenance

Solar panels on a homeSolar panel installation on a roofSolar panels on a home overlooking a patio

What You Should Know About Community Solar.

Community solar is available to any utility ratepayer, renter or homeowner. You don’t need a rooftop where photovoltaic panels would be installed. That’s because community solar is a maintenance-free managed service, with a remotely located solar array, sometimes referred to as a garden. (Please note: Next Step Living currently offers community solar only to National Grid ratepayers in southeastern Massachusetts, WMECo ratepayers in western/central Massachusetts and National Grid or NSTAR ratepayers in northeastern Massachusetts, but we do have a waiting list for folks in the rest of the state. Don't miss out: Add your name by filling out the form at the bottom of this page.)

Ratepayers buy the power produced by the solar array to offset some – or all – of their electric bills. Purchase enough and your utility bill could drop to zero. Start with a little, and add more later if you like. And don’t worry about any repairs or maintenance; the developer of the solar array takes care of that.

Additional benefits of community solar:

  • Production. The locations of solar gardens are selected and the panel arrays are optimized for maximum production; panels are angled perfectly in sunny areas.
  • Portability. When a consumer who has purchased community solar moves, he can take it with him to another location in his load zone, or transmission area. He will continue to get a credit on utility bills reflecting the cheaper price of electricity he’s paying for community solar.
  • Transferability. A ratepayer can sell, gift or donate his community solar power at any time within his load zone, as long as the same utility company is involved.

Community Solar and the Next Step Living Difference.

We are continuously expanding our whole-home approach to energy efficiency and encouraging the use of renewable energy to make it easier for people to live more sustainably. Now, we’re the first mass-market provider of community solar in Massachusetts. By partnering with Clean Energy Collective, a national leader in community solar, we’re bringing together the best of two worlds: our years of experience in making affordable home energy solutions easily accessible and a new renewable-energy option.

The Impact of Community Solar.

Deciding to “go solar” with community solar will make a big difference, for you as well as your community.

  • You can pay less for electricity. You also get Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) and most other state and federal rebates and incentives available to those with rooftop solar.
  • Community solar democratizes solar power by expanding access to this renewable energy for the estimated 80 percent of Massachusetts residents who would like to go solar but can’t.
  • It helps prevent carbon emissions and reduces our dependence on fossil fuels while diversifying our collective energy portfolio.

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