Frequently asked questions

Overview

What is community solar in 50 words?

Community Solar is a way to get the economic and environmental benefits of rooftop solar without installing panels on your home. A large solar system is built in your area, virtually portioned off and electricity is delivered to many households. It creates local jobs and saves you money each month.

Why should I do this? What are the benefits?

Being a part of a community solar program has many benefits. You save money each month, simply for participating. You are supporting local, clean energy development, decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels.

How do I sign up?

First, send over your electric utility account number (15 digits on your bill), so we can size up your portion of the project. From there, we send you a contract and soft credit check (if applicable), both of which are digital and can be completed online in just a few minutes. Then, you're in!

Can I leave?

The ultimately answer is yes, but the terms are dependent on the project. Some projects ask for a month warning, while others suggest you to find someone to take your place. We want to make sure a community solar is right for you, so give us a call, we will help you navigate if you are leaving the program.

Are you an ESCO?

No, we are not an ESCO and you are not entering a supply contract. With community solar, you're simply supporting a local renewable project, 100% of which goes into the local grid. Since you aren't buying power, you can keep your ESCO and still participate.

My Home

How does this compare to my neighbor's rooftop system?

Your neighbor had a roof eligible for solar, and built a small system on their roof. But they act similar on your utility bill and both promote the developer of clean energy. The only difference is you don't put anything on your roof so there is no hassle of installation or maintenance and don't have to worry about it when you move.

How many panels can I subscribe to?

We will do this for you. In order to fully offset your normal utility bill and give you the maximum benefit, we take your historical energy usage and figure out the amount of panels you will need to generate the credits needed to offset your bill.

Will I own anything (a panel, a system)?

You will not at any time own the panel or system, but will receive the benefit from the energy generated from your subscribed panels on a monthly basis. No maintenance, no upfront costs, no hassle.

What if I move?

Unlike rooftop solar, you can bring your solar benefits with you if you move close by. Unfortunately if you move outside the territory, there is no way for the utility to account for you and will have to leave the project.

Do I have to own my home to sign up for community solar?

Nope! Community solar is open to renters and homeowners alike. As long as you have a energy bill in your name, you can sign up.

Will the credit check affect my score?

No. The projects that require a credit check conduct soft checks. We don't see any financials, and it doesn't affect your score.

Savings

How much can I save?

Through offering subscribers a lower rate than their current utility rate, customers will see savings starting immediately. The amount one saves varies based on your electricity bill. Check out our calculator to give you an idea of your personal savings across the year.

Do I lose money in the winter (with no sun)?

You will not. When your subscription produces more credits than you need in the summer, you will "bank" credits. These credits will be used when the project produces less credits than you need, smoothing out seasonality.

What am I paying for?

Since you aren't directly connected to the project, you aren't buying power from the solar panels. Instead you will see a utility credit on your account, drastically reducing your bill. You will then pay a subscription payment for less than the utility credit, saving you money. This payment goes right to project, supporting solar development.

How does billing work?

Each month, you'll receive a community solar credit directly on your power bill, proportional to the amount of electricity you use. Then, you receive a bill from us for less than the amount of the credit, resulting in savings! For example, if your original bill was $125, we would put $100 of credit on your ConEd bill, resulting in you paying ConEd $25 instead of $125. You will then pay the community solar project around $90, resulting in savings of $10. Billing is done electronically and you have the option to set up auto-payments.

How much does it cost to subscribe? Do I pay anything upfront? Are there any other costs?

Since we aren't actually installing anything on your roof, there is no upfront cost. In fact, you'll save about 5-10% on your electricity bill each month. There are no hidden costs.

Utility

How does the electricity get to me?

Since the solar panels are off-site, you will not be directly connected to your panels. As a subscriber you are receiving credits, not power. As a result, nothing will change-except for a reduction in your bill-in regards to how you get electricity.

Will my utility bill change?

It will not. Your electricity provider doesn't change, so you will receive the same bill, only with a partial or full reduction on your bill.

Do I have to switch from my utility?

Your utility will still deliver electricity to you in the same reliable fashion. Your utility company will remain your provider and credit your utility bill. The only difference is that you are supporting local, clean energy.

Why do I have to pay two bills?

Your utility has made this compulsory. We are continuously trying to change this process to make it more efficient. Stay tuned!