Community Solar Frequently Asked Questions:
What is Community Solar?
Community Solar is a large grouping of solar panels in an optimally sited location often referred to as a solar farm. Homeowners and renters can subscribe to a Community Solar project, with no upfront costs required. Customers simply subscribe to the solar farm, and receive solar credits on their monthly electricity bills.
What are the details of this Community Solar project?
This project is located in Ithaca, NY, and is fully completed and interconnected. Homeowners and renters paying a NYSEG electric bill are able to tap into this Community Solar Farm, while receiving a 10% discount on electricity rates.
Below is a video of this specific project:
How much money down is required?
None. No upfront costs are required to tap into solar energy through a Subscription-Style Community Solar Project like this one.
How long is the commitment?
Contracts can be 1, 2 or 3 years.
How do I make payments?
Monthly electronic withdrawals from a checking or savings account. BlueRock Energy will notify each subscriber with an electronic copy of the invoice prior to initiating the electronic withdrawal.
Is my banking information safe?
Absolutely. BlueRock Energy is an Energy Services Company (ESCO) with over 21,000 customers across the Northeast and works regularly in keeping customer information secure.The banking information is destroyed and does not reside on any computer network once entered into our secure payment system.
How much does it cost and how much will I save?
The kilowatt hour credits purchased as a result of your subscription will be able to offset all per kilowatt hour supply and delivery charges on your utility bill. The price you will pay per kilowatt hour will be 10% less than the current delivery rates and the previous 12-month average NYSEG utility supply rates.
What if I am on Budget Billing with NYSEG?
At the moment, customers on Budget Billing with NYSEG that participate in Community Solar are not being properly credited. We are currently working with NYSEG to figure out a way for Community Solar customers to receive credits properly while maintaining Budget Billing. However, you do have the ability to OPT OUT of Budget Billing with NYSEG and start saving with Community Solar.
What happens if the amount of kilowatt hours allocated and purchased by me from the Project for a particular month exceed my usage for that month?
Excess kilowatt hours purchased and allocated from the Project will carry over on your monthly NYSEG utility bill to the following month and each succeeding month until used in full. They are not lost as long as you remain a subscriber and in your current residence. Under normal weather conditions, the excess allocation typically happens in a summer month. As a subscriber, the excess kilowatt hours continue to carry over until months where the kilowatt hours allocated and purchased from the Project are less than your monthly usage. This kilowatt hour shortage will typically happen in a winter month. The excess kilowatt hours carried over to these months are used to reduce the shortage.
What happens if the amount of kilowatt hours purchased and allocated from the Project for a particular month are less than my usage for that month?
In this case, your bill from NYSEG will show a net usage amount. If, after applying any carry over credits (see question above), a net usage amount remains, you will be billed by NYSEG and/or ESCO for such net usage amount at NYSEG’s delivery rates and NYSEG and/or the ESCO’s retail supply rate.
What if I have a Time-of-Use (TOU) or Day/Night Service class meter?
You can still participate in our “subscription style” community solar. Please keep in mind the rates we charge for the credits are based on a Service Class 1 (“SC-1”) meter; however, the supply and delivery credits you would receive are based on your “day/night” rate which takes into account the blended rate based on your time of use each month. Please contact us with questions based on your circumstance including your options to switch to SC-1 meter type with NYSEG.
What if I purchase my electric supply from a third-party ESCO instead of NYSEG?
As long as the third-party ESCO supply charges are included on your NYSEG bill, (known as consolidated billing), the net metering credits you purchase will be able to offset all supply and delivery per kilowatt hour charges on your utility bill. If you are billed and pay for your supply charges directly to the third-party ESCO and not through NYSEG, then the net metering credits you purchase will be able to offset only the delivery per kilowatt hour charges on your utility bill.
What if I have an on site solar system at my house or business?
If you currently have a solar energy system located on your property used to offset electricity for a particular utility account, then you are not eligible to enroll that utility account in this program.
Were any of your questions not answered?
Please don't hesitate to contact us. We would love to answer any additional questions or concerns you may have. Call us at 800-836-4923 or send us an email!
The following is a brief explanation of how this Community Solar Farm operates. Nothing changes about how you receive your utility bill. You will continue to be billed from NYSEG as you have in the past. However, you will notice a line item applied to your NYSEG bill called a ‘CDG Generation Credit’. This credit represents the amount that is generated from the solar farm and applied to your bill. Your kilowatt-hour allocation is based off your previous 12-month usage. Any unused credits will rollover from month to month, and you will not lose these credits unless your utility account changes.
As of now the utility (NYSEG) does not yet have consolidated billing for Community Solar. Therefore, you will receive a separate invoice from BlueRock Solar for the credits you purchase from the Community Solar Farm, which are at a discount from utility rates (NYSEG). In return you will receive these credits on your NYSEG bill, as previously explained. The discounted rate on your BlueRock Solar invoice is a fixed rate for one year. This rate is calculated from your current electrical delivery charges and your average 12-month supply for a residential Service Class One meter. Please note, due to the billing cycle and your meter read date, the credits you receive will approximately be one month behind your NYSEG bill. Please let us know if you have any further questions.