Community Solar Survey
Across the United States, there is a growing interest in community solar programs. These programs allow for greater participation in solar energy, without requiring the purchase of solar arrays for one’s own home. The benefits of community solar programs include:
- Adding a new solar installation in the local area
- Choice of energy sources for customers
- Cutting carbon emissions and slowing climate change
- Increasing energy independence and security
- Buffering against rising fuel costs
- Creating local jobs
Through a community solar program, customers can use a local solar energy system to provide electricity to their homes.

As an example, Madison Gas and Electric (Madison-area power utility) recently launched a community solar program called Shared Solar. MG&E customers were given the option to participate in the program for a buy-in fee that varied depending on the customer’s desired level of participation. This buy-in fee also allowed customers to pay a set rate for their solar power for 25 years. The Shared Solar program sold out, and MG&E built the solar array through an arrangement with the City of Middleton on the roof of their new Municipal Operations Center building. The Shared Solar program has been considered a success and is currently generating power for over 250 customers.

While there are many different community solar models, the following questions are designed to gauge overall local interest in this type of program for Shorewood and nearby residents.
How important do you believe renewables (such as wind and solar) are as a source of energy in the United States today? *
As a customer of your local utility, how important is it to have a choice in how your energy is produced? *
Would you be interested in having the option to purchase locally produced solar energy from your utility? *
Would you be willing to spend slightly more for electricity if you knew it was produced with a local renewable energy source? *
Do you rent or own your residence? *
Have you, or would you like to, add solar panels to your residence? *
If you answered "yes" to the previous question, what was your primary reason to add or consider adding solar panels to your residence? *
If you have considered adding solar panels but haven’t had any installed, what do you perceive as the limitations for not moving forward with solar panel installation? *
Community solar programs involve construction of a local solar installation and allow customers to source a portion of their electricity from that installation. Would you be interested in this type of program? *
Would you participate in a listening session to learn more about community solar? *
What questions or comments would you like to share on the subject of a potential community solar program? *
In what community do you live? *
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