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Get started with community solar
What is community solar?
Community solar enables all utility customers to enjoy the benefits of solar, without having to install panels on their roof. Instead of owning or leasing your own solar array, you will be subscribing to a portion of a larger solar project built in your community. It costs you nothing to join, you will save each month on electricity, and you will be a champion of local renewable energy. Enjoy all the benefits of solar without the worry. Check out this awesome video
to learn more.
Why should I join a community solar project?
You should join a community solar project if you like saving money, love making a positive environmental impact, and want to participate in our transition to a sustainable energy system, without worry or hassle.
How does it work?
When you sign up to the community solar project, we will make sure you are allocated the right sized portion of the project based on your historic energy usage. Then each month you will receive bill credits from your utility representing the amount of solar energy produced and the size of your allocation in the project. These bill credits will off-set your energy supply charges, delivery charges, and taxes on your utility bill. We will then charge you for the bill credits you received, but at a discount.
Let's use a good example: Sarah's monthly utility bills are around $70/month. Sarah signed up for community solar and is excited to start saving. The solar project started generating energy on October 1, and on Sarah's November utility bill, she saw a bill credit of $50, with a balance due of $20 ($70 - $50 = $20). Sarah paid the $20 to her utility at the end of November, and then paid PowerMarket $45 for the value of her $50 credit, saving 10%!
What does it cost?
It costs nothing to join a community solar project, and there are no upfront fees.
Who can join?
Any individual who pays their own Central Hudson electricity bill should be able to join, regardless of whether they live in a house or apartment.
How do I sign up?
Click the "Sign Up" button anywhere on the landing page. A form will pop up, and you will need to fill out some basic information (name, phone number, zip code, etc.). Once you have submitted this form, you will be taken to your personal PowerMarket dashboard. You will need to have one of your electricity bills on hand to provide additional details related to your Central Hudson account and electricity usage.
If you have any more questions about signing up, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
or (800) 253-4333
What will my bill look like?
On the left is an example of your utility bill once you have subscribed and begin earning bill credits. Your bill will have a new line item called "Adjustments" (highlighted yellow) and this represents your community solar bill credits. On the right is an example of the monthly notification we will send to you, confirming the bill credits you have received, the payment we will process, and your total savings.
If it costs nothing to sign up, why do I put in payment info?
While there is no cost to sign up, you will still be paying for the bill credits you receive each month, but at a discount. We want to make this process clear and easy for you. Before we process any payment, you will have already received the credits on your utility bill. Each month we will send you a notice letting you know the amount of bill credits your received, the amount due, and your total savings. If you ever have a question about your bill credits or your payment, we have a dedicated support
team ready to help.
Which forms of payment can I use?
Right now, most community solar projects only accept ACH as a form of payment (inputting your bank account and routing number). This is the most secure and efficient way to process payments, and it's part of the reason that this is able to be offered at a discount to your current utility rate. We encrypt all of your payment information to ensure the highest level of security and protection.
How much will I save every month?
You will save up to 10% on your electricity bill each month depending on the amount of bill credits received. If this is not the case, feel free to email us at email@example.com
or call us at (800) 253-4333
I already have a solar system on my property. Can I still sign up?
Unfortunately no. Public service regulations don't allow customers who have on-site solar to subscribe to a community project.
I already have clean energy with an Energy Services Company (ESCO) like Direct Energy or Green Mountain Energy. Can I still sign up?
Yes! As long as you pay for your ESCO supply through your utility bill, you can maintain your ESCO contract and still join a community solar project. Joining a community solar project will allow you continue supporting existing renewable energy projects, while also saving some money and having a tangible connection to new a local project. However, if your ESCO bills you separately for supply from your utility, unfortunately you won't be able to join the project.
Is PowerMarket an ESCO?
No. ESCOs are an optional alternative energy supplier to utilities. Some ESCOs supply energy exclusively from renewable energy projects and typically charge a slight premium. With community solar, you subscribe directly to a local solar project being built in your area and you receive credits based on the production of that project.
Do I need to put anything on my roof?
No! That's the beauty of community solar. You get all of the benefits of clean energy without having to install anything at your home or business.
Can I share this community solar benefit with friends and family?
Absolutely! As part of your corporate benefit, you can be an ambassador for community solar in your neighborhood. Invite friends, family or neighbors to join this program.
What if I move?
If you move within the same utility zone, you can still be part of the project, just let us know so we can make the changes on your account. If you move to an area where we don't have a project, you'll unfortunately have to cancel your membership. However, we do encourage you to let your roommates or the next tenant know about this program, as they may be able to take advantage of this benefit as well.
What if I want to leave the project?
If for whatever reason you want to leave, you simply have to give us 90 days' notice so we can find someone else to take your spot.
Are there any cancellation fees/penalties?
There are no cancellations fees or penalties. However, we ask that you give us 90 days' notice to cancel your subscription.
What if I leave my employer?
You will still be subscribed to the community solar project, even if you leave your employer. A change in your job won't stop you from benefiting from community solar.
Are there any issues with reliability? Are you replacing my utility company?
Nope. You will have the same reliability that you have always had. Nothing will change except now when you receive your utility bill, you will see your bill credit applied, reducing your monthly energy costs. Your utility company still maintains the physical grid system, ensuring reliability, and delivering the electricity you use to power your home, business, or place of worship. We work with utilities to get more renewable energy on that grid system and transition to a more sustainable future.
How long does it take for the subscription to kick in once I've signed up?
You should start seeing credits on your utility bill a month or two after you subscribe to the community solar project.
What happens if the community solar project I'm subscribed to goes offline? (ex. A storm damages my community solar project and it has to go offline for repairs).
If for whatever reason, the project you're subscribed to goes offline, you'll still be getting electricity from your utility company, but you temporarily won't be getting the discount from your renewable project subscription. (i.e. things will go back to how they were before you subscribed). If a project has to shut down completely, we'll help you switch to another project in your area if one is available.
What's the catch? This sounds too good to be true.
Will my participation in this community solar project be made public?
Your participation will not be made public. Any information you share with us will be kept confidential and only used for billing purposes. That said, we hope you will be a community solar champion in your area. Spread the word!
Whom can I contact if I have any more questions?