Make a Difference with Community Solar at Paddington Square

June 15, 2022
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We’re facing a serious challenge. Right now, 1 in 6 Montgomery County residents have trouble paying their electricity bill. Meanwhile, the impact of rising fuel prices and pollution continue to hit hardest in communities (near and far) who are least equipped to handle these shifts.

So, here’s what we do at Groundswell. We work with communities to create community solar projects that meet local needs, build resiliency centers, improve energy efficiency, and push forward research that establishes new ways to meet those challenges every day. Our SharePower model has been one of our greatest successes in terms of meeting those challenges because it allows folks who care about their community and the environment to subscribe to clean energy AND improve clean energy access for their neighbors.

I’m passionate about Groundswell’s SharePower model because it lets us tackle these challenges in creative ways that work for individuals and individual communities. For example, rooftop solar comes with expensive up-front costs that many households simply can’t afford, and access
is further limited by where you live – often leaving out anyone who lives in an apartment and homes with heavy tree-cover. These barriers to installation have also become barriers to savings, and they block folks in our communities who would like to make a difference with clean energy from being able to do so.

The Groundswell team has worked with the Montgomery County Green Bank and SunCatch Energy to expand clean energy access and clean energy savings to more households than ever before. Community Solar at Paddington Square is connecting 28 Maryland households to
no-cost clean energy savings, but this clean energy savings is only possible through the support of 63 local SharePower subscribers, who are committed to donating their clean energy savings to their neighbors.

For example of how SharePower works, one of our subscribers told me she has always cared deeply about the environment, and she spent years looking for a way to use energy that she could feel good about at her home. She is fortunate enough to have her own home with her own
rooftop, but between heavy tree-cover and the cost of installing solar panels using her retirement income, she simply couldn’t make it work. Think about that: Wanting to use clean energy and needing the savings, but not being able to access it.

In 2020, she was able to enroll in a SharePower community solar project near her home at no cost, and she has cut her energy bill by about $500 a year while caring for the planet. This work is personal to me because I hear the frustration of people who feel trapped by high
priced, dirty energy sources every day, and I want to yell from the mountaintops that there is a solution. There is a way for families in our community to access the clean energy savings they want and need, and you can help.

If you are a Pepco customer in Maryland, you can help make clean energy and clean energy savings available to families in your community by subscribing to SharePower today. For every three community solar subscribers, we are able to connect one low or moderate-income
household in your community with a no-cost community solar subscription and up to $400 a year in clean energy savings.

If you can’t subscribe right now, for whatever reason, please help us continue to improve clean energy access by telling your friends about SharePower community solar and learning more here.

Blog post written by Alicia Hill, Associate Manager Marketing & Communications, Groundswell

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