Community Solar Finance – AEF | Australian Energy Foundation

Community Solar Finance

How it works in practice

The business agrees to host the panels and purchase the electricity generated from the community solar operator for an agreed period (usually 5-7 years). The system can also be accessed through a lease or loan arrangement.

The community solar organisation helps hosts choose the right system size and manages the installation process. During the agreed period the community solar organisation will own and maintain the panels.

Hosts will receive a regular bill from the community solar organisation for the electricity that they use from the solar panels. Revenue from the sale of electricity is passed back to the community investors in the form of a return on investment.

After the agreed contract period ends the ownership of the solar panels is transferred to the roof host at no cost, enabling them to access solar energy free of charge.

Who does this work for?

Community solar models work best for businesses (owner occupiers or long term tenants) with a large roof space, significant daytime electricity consumption 5-7 days a week.

Benefits of this approach are that you can minimise your exposure to rising electricity prices for the duration of the agreement, get free solar panels after the agreement ends and strengthen connections with your local community, and showcase your green powered business.