Residents and Communities Are Being Transformed By Solar Energy

Credit: Clean Energy Resource Teams, FlickrCCRenewable energy is all the rage. Solar power is still transforming communities’ and residents’ lives. Homeowners can install private solar panel systems. And even residents can benefit from solar in other ways.

For those able to install PV systems, numerous benefits await. For those unable to install PV panels, several options give access to solar energy for the home regardless.

In short, almost anyone can gain from home solar in some way.

How does solar power transform lives?

A quick consultation with Smart Solar Energy in Vancouver Washington gave some insights into the benefits of PV systems. Solar energy is safe and clean. Using solar in the home helps to reduce carbon emissions, and make the environment that bit better.

For parents, using green power means contributing to protecting the Earth for their children. But, solar power has actually transformed lives. The renewable energy industry creates jobs. Solar power frees poor communities from energy bills. And residents in undeveloped regions benefit from access to electricity from solar panels.

In places where electricity is patchy, solar power helps boost education, local businesses, and healthcare, and improve daily lives.

Common uses for solar power in residential areas

Solar panels are commonly seen in residential areas. Typically, solar panels are installed on the rooftops of homes. This then provides some or all of a household’s energy needs.

Uses for solar power in residential areas include:

  • To power homes
  • To power businesses
  • Garden solar – pool heating, lighting, deck heating, water pumps
  • Security and night lights
  • Street lights
  • RVs

Most commonly, solar power is used for private homes. But, it can be installed on recreational vehicles, or used to heat swimming pools. Solar power also helps to increase security in residential areas with street lighting, and private security lights.

How are residential communities being transformed by solar power?

Apart from being able to save money on utility bills, and power their homes with PV panels, solar brings many gains that aren’t so obvious at first.

Community solar projects

The definition of community solar is where PV panels are used to provide energy to more than one person or building. Generally, community solar projects will provide power to numerous homes and businesses. And community solar funding is receiving a boost.

The largest-ever community solar order has been placed for 2.5 million PV panels. This project will provide energy to 140,000 American homes and businesses. Typically, though, community solar serves a smaller number of homes.

When someone joins a community solar project they can either lease a number of panels or buy them. The major difference between single-home solar and community solar is no installation is required. Community solar is decentralized, and panels are leased from a utility company.

Not everyone wants to be reliant on utility companies. However, community solar allows residents who aren’t homeowners to benefit from green energy. Whether someone installs PV panels themselves or joins a community solar project, they will gain in many ways.

The rest of this short article will show some of the many ways that residents and communities benefit from solar energy.

1 Improved air quality

Using renewable energy means bypassing fossil fuels. Burning coal electricity generation is bad for everyone. The planet suffers due to carbon emissions and other greenhouse gasses. People suffer from pollution and poor air quality.

Solar power produces no such gasses or pollutants. Solar panel systems can safely be installed in a home and will produce clean energy.

2 Increased social responsibility

Solar power brings many financial benefits. And many homeowners install solar power to save money and see their property increase in value. However, switching to a renewable energy source will also increase awareness of the environment and social responsibility.

If communities invest in a solar garden then they will actively demonstrate their belief in social responsibility together.

3 Remote and rural communities

Many parts of the US are classed as rural. In these areas, things that most people take for granted are often underserved. Broadband for instance is a problem in rural areas, and longer power outages are experienced by residents in remote areas. Unfortunately, despite having less reliable electricity supplies, remote communities pay more for it.

Solar power can be used to reduce utility bills in remote areas and provide reliable power through off-grid systems.

4 Reduce strain on the grid

It isn’t only remote regions that suffer from blackouts. Power outages are more common now due to the power grid being overloaded. California has the most blackouts of any state with 39 last year. This equated to 414 hours without electricity in total.

When communities switch to solar power, it reduces the strain on the grid. In effect, homeowners and residents who have solar power are making things better for other communities.

5 Increased independence from utility companies

Solar systems for homes come as either on-grid or off-grid. This means that your solar system will still be linked to a utility company and the grid, or it will be completely independent.

Off-grid systems give complete independence from utility companies. And solar batteries take this one step further. If there is a power outage, then an off-grid system will continue to work as long as there is sufficient light. Solar batteries store excess power which can be used during a blackout even if it’s nighttime.

The right type of solar system could see communities continuing unimpaired during power outages. Schools can carry on, remote workers will be fine, and local businesses can stay open.

6 An alternative to unwanted wind farms

The majority of people prefer wind farms to any power station using fossil fuels. But, not everyone wants wind farms near their homes. Solar power offers individuals and communities an alternative.

By 2030, the US coastline could have enough wind farms to power 10,000,000 homes. While this is admirable as far as sustainability is concerned, many communities are opposed. There have been several legal battles against wind developers to halt farms.

Critics of wind farms point out they blight the landscape, increase noise pollution, and harm wildlife including birds. Solar power farms can be located far from residential communities, and indeed benefit from remote areas such as the Mojave Desert.

7 Government incentives

Homeowners who install solar panels will benefit from rebates and tax incentives. Communities who band together to create a solar project will also see these financial benefits. Not only that, but net metering means excess power can be sold back to utility companies.

Installing solar power into low-cost housing will also help underserved communities and low-income families. Government funding is pushing solar power for lower-income families who will then gain from reduced utility bills.

8 Energy for poor communities

It’s not just American residents and communities who gain from solar power. Poorer nations and undeveloped countries need electricity, and solar can provide it.

Solar power can help to improve community’s lives in these ways and more:

  • Healthcare
  • Sanitization
  • Medicine
  • Schooling
  • Lighting and heating
  • Security
  • Drinking water

Energy security is vital for communities to enjoy a certain quality of life. Uninterrupted and affordable power is unknown in many parts of the world. Solar could change that.

And the world’s water crisis can be improved through solar power. Solar energy is capable of disinfecting and providing drinking water in areas where it is not readily available. Clean drinking water saves lives, and solar energy can help.


Solar panels provide power to millions of homes. Solar energy saves money, increases security, and can even work in power outages. But, communities can benefit from solar power in many other ways.

Using home solar means cleaner air and fewer emissions. Solar can power street lights to keep people safe. And solar installations create jobs. The more people who install solar in their homes, the more jobs will be created.

Not least, solar power brings reliable energy to rural communities and underserved areas. In the US, and overseas.