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Community Solar Help Center
  • What is “Community Solar”?

    Community Solar is a new way to receive some of the financial benefits of rooftop solar. The main difference is instead of paying to place expensive panels on your own roof, a group of households get together to support a centralized solar farm and, it’s available to renters and homeowners who can’t get, or don’t want, rooftop solar for a number of reasons. You can sign up for community solar here.

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  • How does Community Solar work?

    Every new community solar farm built in your area has a limited number of memberships available. Qualified residents of the utility area where the farm is built are eligible to become members.  The electricity produced by the solar farm goes on to your local power grid. When you sign up for community solar, you receive credits on your utility bill for your “share” of the electricity produced by the farm. Since the credits are generally worth more than you pay for them, the average member can expect to save on electricity costs.

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  • What is a solar farm?

    A solar farm is typically a group of panels located in a field or on a warehouse which leverage the power of the sun to produce renewable energy. Solar farms typically feed into the larger electricity grid and help to shift the fuel mix to clean, renewable sources.

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  • How is this different from installing solar panels on my roof?

    Community solar doesn’t have the limitations of rooftop solar—if your roof is shaded, faces the wrong direction or can’t support solar panels, it doesn’t matter. Plus, you don’t need to own your home. Renters can also participate.  With community solar, you can receive the financial benefits of solar power without worrying about the hassles of ownership like maintenance.

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  • Will I save money?

    Typical subscribers save about 5-10% off their annual electricity costs by participating in community solar.  For example, a typical subscriber who pays $90-95 for their monthly subscription in could expect to receive $100 in bill credits for that period.  Over time, this can really add up.

    Actual savings will depend on the actual production of the solar farm and the value of your bill credits over time as compared to the applicable utility rates established by your Public Utility Commission (PUC) and the specific terms of your subscription agreement.  Of course, no one can predict the future, so savings are not guaranteed, although they are likely to occur.

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  • Is there an upfront payment like with rooftop solar?

    No. With community solar, you pay as you go and there are no upfront payments.

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  • Are there any fees?

    No, you just pay your subscription price. There are no fees on top of the subscription price. And if you move within utility's service territory and remain an eligible customer, you can take your subscription with you.

    If you move out of your utility's service area or stop service entirely, you can also cancel your subscription without a penalty. If you cancel your subscription for convenience, an early termination fee may apply.  See your subscription agreement for detailed terms.

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  • Will I still be a customer of my utility?

    Of course. You won’t be treated any differently. Your utility will still provide your power and deliver service to you. The only difference is the power generated from your share of the solar farm will benefit your local electricity grid. And that’s the power that’ll appear as credits on your utility bill. Just remember – we’ll be sending you a separate bill for your solar subscription charges.

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  • Will I have a service interruption or notice anything different in the power I receive at my house?

    No. Your local utility will continue to deliver electricity to your home just as it does now.  You will not be changing your utility, energy supplier or the type of energy powering your home.

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  • How do the seasons impact the solar panels?

    If your solar farm subscription produces more credits than you can use in a single billing cycle, the credits will roll over and be applied to future utility bills.

    In months with shorter days, you may notice fewer credits applied to your utility bill. In this case, previously earned credits may be put towards your current balance.

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  • Can I claim that I am using solar power?

    No, when you sign up for community solar you are not changing the type of energy that is powering your home, but you are helping more renewable energy be put onto the grid in your region (for all customers to use!).

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  • What happens if the solar panels are damaged?

    In the unlikely event that panels are damaged, we will work to repair or replace the panels as soon as possible.  You will not be charged for any maintenance or repair costs. More importantly, your subscription is based on how much the farm is producing - you only pay for your share of the credits that are produced.  

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  • How can I benefit from Community Solar?

    There are three main benefits to community solar:

    • Savings could be thousands of dollars over the life of your agreement
    • No home installation or maintenance, a key advantage over rooftop solar panels
    • Your choice supports the development of the clean energy industry
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