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FAQs of Community Solar
What is Community Solar?
A community solar project is a single site solar installation shared by multiple subscribers. Community solar allows “subscribers” to receive net metering credits on their electricity bill and support the development of new renewable energy resources without needing to install equipment on their property. Community solar projects in Illinois are defined as no larger than 5,000 kW in peak capacity per site.
How does Community Solar Work?
Community solar projects generate electricity, and that power is delivered into the electric grid of the utility. The community solar project signs up subscribers and each subscriber receives credit – called monthly net metering credits - based on their share of the electricity generated by the solar farm in each month. Each subscription is tied to a specific community solar project.
What are the Benefits?
Community Solar is an easy way to support the development of clean energy generation within Illinois. Increasing community solar is one way to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and support clean energy generation. In addition, you do not have to invest in a solar asset on your rooftop, which may not be right for everybody. You will receive a net metering credit on your monthly ComEd electric utility bill for your share of the generation created by these projects.
How does Billing Work?
When you join the waitlist and a community solar project becomes available to accept new subscribers, you will be notified by the Program Administrator - mc² - with an opportunity to enroll. After successfully completing the enrollment process, you will receive the net metering credits on your monthly ComEd electric utility bill for your share of the generation created by your Community Solar project under the utility’s default electricity supply tariff service.
The net metering credits, based on your subscription, will appear on your monthly utility bill and will be credited against your total electricity utility costs. mc² then bills you for 90% of the net metering credits to your credit card and you save 10%. The program does not have upfront costs and will provide savings if the subscriber follows a few simple steps.
What is the savings opportunity?
Subscribers will receive 10% savings of the community solar credits they receive on their ComEd bill.
What if it’s a cloudy day. Could there be supply interruptions?
There will be no supply interruptions related to having become a community solar subscriber. Power produced by a community solar array is sent to the utility’s grid in combination with power from other sources to all ComEd customers.
Why do they call us a “subscriber”?
This is because you are subscribing to a portion of the power that a given community solar array can provide. When you sign up, the solar provider estimates your annual power usage from the array and assigns that portion of the array to you. They continue to add subscribers until the capacity of the array is full.
Why is the Village of Homer Glen promoting Community Solar?
Your Village Board recognizes there is a cost savings benefit for village residents who convert to community solar. There are numerous community solar suppliers in the market. To help village residents take the guesswork out of which companies are most credible and capable, we have investigated this for you. We teamed up with the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus and researched the experiences of other villages and cities (like Oak Park, Highland Park, and Evanston) to select a supplier with very competitive rates and an outstanding service record. The Village of Homer Glen does not profit from this, we do it as a service to our residents.
Is there a fee to sign up for community solar?
What if I move?
If you move to a new home within your utility’s territory, you can continue your subscription. If you move outside the territory, you must cancel your subscription or transfer it to another customer who meets the eligibility requirements.
Is there a fee to cancel community solar if I find a better deal?
There is no cancellation fee and you can quit at any time.
Can residents that have friends and family living outside Homer Glen sign up on our Village website?
Yes. As long as ComEd is their current electricity supplier, people outside of the village can become community solar subscribers as well.
Is Community Solar available to me as soon as I sign up?
Community solar project developers typically seek subscribers in advance of the project start date, so there could be a short waiting period. Chicago-based MC Squared Energy Services, LLC (mc²) may have community solar projects available now.
Where are the solar projects located?
Most solar arrays are located outside of the Chicago area where land is cheaper. Sites include Clinton, DeKalb, LaSalle, and Livingston counties.
When will the program start?
The program is currently available through Chicago-based MC Squared Energy Services, LLC (mc²). Sign up if you are interested in the opportunity to become one of the subscribers in a community solar program. There is no obligation to participate in the program.
What type of accounts are eligible for the Community Solar Program?
Residential rate class, watt-hour and small commercial rate class (0-100 kW) customers are eligible.
Where can I find what type of account I have to see if I am eligible
Community Solar and Net Metering
Can you subscribe to the Community Solar Program as an existing Net Metering customer?
Yes, customers that have installed behind the meter distributed-generation resources on their premise, such as roof-top solar arrays, are currently eligible to participate as a subscriber in a community solar project. However, the potential community solar subscription size may be limited by ComEd given the size of distributed generation resources installed on the premise.
Note: You may choose a community solar offer from other Approved Vendors. For a complete list of your options, visit https://illinoisshines.com/approved-vendor-info/