For New Yorkers who aren’t able to install solar panels on their property, a community solar subscription offers an alternative route to solar savings. In recent years, community solar projects have become more popular across New York, and so the availability of community solar subscriptions has increased also. If you’re unable to install panels on your home or business, community solar could be your best bet—but how does community solar work and what are the benefits? Let’s find out.
How Does Community Solar Work?
The term community solar generally refers to a shared solar PV project which is open to multiple different subscribers. By subscribing to a community solar project, energy customers can save on their monthly utility bills and support the growth of renewable energy without the need to install solar panels on their own property. In a place like New York City, where roof space can be hard to come by, this makes community solar a very attractive proposition.
The subscriber signs up to a community solar project in their locality and receives bill credits each month. These bill credits are proportional to the amount of energy generated by the subscriber’s share of the solar project. The bill credits are then applied to the subscriber’s utility bill, saving them money each and every month. Under the community solar model, you receive clean energy for your home or business, and consistent savings on your utility bills, all without the need to install the panels on your own property.
What are the Benefits of Community Solar?
Community solar comes with many of the benefits of a conventional on-site solar installation, as well as a few unique advantages.
Savings: As noted above, community solar subscribers receive bill credits each month, offsetting the cost of their utility bills.
No Installation: This is the unique selling point of community solar. Subscribers receive the savings associated with going solar, without the need to install panels at their property.
Adjustable: Thanks to the model of community solar, customers can adjust their subscription based on their energy needs. If your energy usage changes, you can either upgrade or downgrade your subscription accordingly.
Transferable: Similarly, if you decide to relocate, you may be able to transfer your community solar subscription to a different project in your new location. YSG will assist you in transferring your subscription should you decide to move.
Environmental: By subscribing to community solar, you are actively doing your bit for the future of our planet. A community solar subscription is a tangible way to reduce your carbon footprint and support clean energy.
Community Solar: Frequently Asked Questions
You can read our full, detailed community solar FAQ at this link, but we will cover some of the most common questions below.
How Much Does It Cost?
The upfront cost of community solar is $0. That’s not a typo, there is no upfront payment for a community solar subscription. It’s a simple matter of signing up and receiving bill credits each month. Once the subscription is up and running, you will pay an affordable monthly subscription to your solar developer for the bill credits.
Am I Eligible For Community Solar?
Generally speaking, if your utility rate falls under residential, small non-residential, or religious, you’re eligible. With regard to which project you are eligible for, that depends on your location. Community solar subscribers must be located in the same utility territory/”load zone” as the project itself. To make sure that you are eligible for community solar, and to find out about projects in your area, you should speak to a developer like YSG Solar.
How Do I Sign Up?
To sign up for a community solar project you will need to speak to an established developer like YSG Solar. YSG will clarify your eligibility for community solar and locate the ideal project based on your location and energy requirements. Once we’ve found the right project, YSG will manage the energy credits, ensuring savings on your utility bill each month.
How Much Money Will I Save?
This is variable and depends on the specifics of your situation, your subscription, and the community solar project in question. However, you can expect a significant reduction in your monthly utility bill with virtually no effort on your part.
Can I Unsubscribe If I Change My Mind?
Yes, you will be able to terminate your agreement at any time, as long as you provide YSG with 60 days notice. Subscribers will be responsible for a prorated portion of the monthly subscription fee, in respect of the month in which the termination becomes effective.
Leasing Your Land or Roof for Community Solar
If you have unused land or roof space then you may be able to lease that space for a community solar project. Solar developers in New York, and across the country, are looking for suitable land and roof space to house all of these new community solar projects. A solar land/roof lease is a way to make a profit from otherwise unused space with minimal effort on the part of the property owner. If you think you have unused land or roof space that could house a community solar project, you should reach out to a solar developer today to find out how much you could make. Watch our short video below to learn more about renting land/roof space for community solar.
No matter where you are in New York, YSG will help you to sign up for community solar. Send us an email, or call at 212.389.9215 and we will identify the best community solar project for your energy needs, walking you through the entire process.
YSG Solar is a project development vehicle responsible for commoditizing energy infrastructure projects. We work with long-term owners and operators to provide clean energy assets with stable, predictable cash flows. YSG's market focus is distributed generation and utility-scale projects located within North America.