Maryland Company Lets You Run on Solar Power Without Installing Panels

Even after he traded his life in the fast line for a spin in the bike lane, Stu Simon wanted to do more to slash his carbon footprint.

"I've been looking around, what can I do without drastically changing my lifestyle, but to help things," Simon said.

Powering his home with solar energy seemed like the best next step — but Simon learned his townhouse roof is too small to install panels.

"So, what's my option?"

Turns out, there is one: A Maryland company is seeking to connect consumers to the solar grid, even if they can't install panels because of cost or space issues.

Nautilis Solar Energy runs the largest residential community solar farm in the Washington, D.C., region, with more than 19,000 solar panels built atop a former Prince George's County landfill.

Those panels supply power to nearly 1,200 Pepco customers in Prince George's and Montgomery counties.

"Not only is it green power, you know, renewable, but it's actually also a discount," said Jim Rice, CEO and Co-Founder of Nautilus.

So how does it work? And how does clean power get to your home?

Residents can subscribe to a community solar project. Their share of panels deliver electricity to the local grid, which delivers power to subscribers' homes.

Solar credits are then reflected on the subscriber's Pepco bill. Companies guarantee savings of at least 5 percent.

"This is an incredible way to support solar without having to invest a single penny and you're getting a discount," says Gary Sculink, CEO and founder of Maryland-based community solar company Neighborhood Sun.

It's free to subscribe to this community solar project. Participants can expect two bills in the mail: One from the community solar company billing that is for your solar usage, and another from Pepco. The Pepco bill should show a solar credit discount and will also charge for any non-solar energy used.

Here is more info on how to switch to clean energy in Maryland, D.C and Virginia. 

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