You get a share of the output from a solar farm in your area while earning a credit on your bill, lowering your electricity costs.
By subscribing to community solar, you’re increasing demand for renewable energy in your community, directly displacing fossil fuels from the electric grid. That means you can support solar and prevent pollution from fossil fuels without having to install or pay for solar panels.
Virginia subscribers benefit from community solar in numerous way. Not only do you see the dollars saved on your electricity bill every month, but you help to establish local, clean-energy jobs, and help clean our air by keeping harmful fossil fuel energy out of the electric grid.
The community solar model is essential to ensuring an equitable clean energy transition, connecting solar developers who need to fill projects with local residents and businesses who want access to solar energy savings. Rooftop solar is currently accessible to only 20% of Americans, so we’re here to make sure the other 80% don’t get left out of this clean energy transition, especially those who have suffered the most from fossil-fuel pollution.
There are no costs, fees, or installations to subscribe, making clean energy available to renters and homeowners alike. Through our quick online sign-up process, we match you with a solar farm in your community that may already be active or still under construction. Just provide us with a sample utility bill to estimate your share size, and we’ll handle the rest so you can sit back and save with solar!
You continue receiving power through your current utility. Each month, your share of the solar farm adds clean energy to the grid, directly displacing the equivalent amount of dirty energy derived from fossil fuels. This improves local air and water quality and allows you to directly combat fossil fuels, just by paying your electric bill.
Clean energy is cheaper (and safer) than fossil fuels because the sun shines for free. That means you pay for your share of solar energy at a guaranteed discount (between 5%-30%) compared to your current utility rate, depending on the project. These cost savings will be reflected as clean energy credits reflected on your current electricity bill each month.
During your application, you authorize us to review your historical electrical use. We use the past 12-24 months of your electric history to calculate the average amount of kWh you will need each month. Savings are based on the amount of electricity generated by your portion of the solar farm, not your actual kWh use.
Every month, your share of the solar farm earns you energy credits when it generates power. You’ll pay us (Neighborhood Sun) the discounted rate which will automatically be applied to your monthly electric bill through your normal utility provider. For example, if your average monthly bill is $100 a month, and your solar farm discount is 10% off, you will only pay $90 to us and your electric bill will reflect $100 solar credit, nearly zeroing out your electric bill payment to your utility itself.
You may choose automatic debit from a checking account or a credit card. Unfortunately, we do not offer paper billing or non-automated payments. (Hey, it’s better for the planet!)
We’ll email you at the start of each month to remind you of your auto-billing. Note that your invoice amount may fluctuate from month-to-month. This is because your share of the solar farm may produce more electricity in say June (sunny days!) than in January (typically less sun).
The sum of both bills will be less than your old utility bill. Since we charge less for community solar than what your utility charges for default energy (generated by fossil fuels), you’ll see monthly savings.
Your share of energy generated by the community solar is estimated based on your average monthly energy usage, so some months it may be more or less than the energy you actually end up using. Don’t worry if you use less energy than your share provided because your solar credits will roll forward to the next month without any extra effort on your end. Should you have any rollover credits remaining at the end of your contract period, they will be bought out (repaid) by your utility at that time.
In 2016, Neighborhood Sun set out to disrupt the broken utility industry that profits off pollution while distributing the health and financial costs to the customers it supposedly serves. Instead, Neighborhood Sun leverages collective action, empowering communities through access to clean, affordable energy, one individual or business at a time. Learn more about our corporate values and explore a breakdown of our B Corp Score to better understand how we use business as a force for good.
Our dependence on fossil fuels is costing us more than just money (Spend a lot on gas lately?). We’re funding the fossil fuel industry at the cost of our health, our financial independence, and our futures. Climate change is about more than just “saving the polar bears.” It’s about people and the resources we desperately need, not only to thrive but even just to survive. Renewable energy offers us a future where we don’t have to choose between the right thing to do and the convenient thing. Shared renewables are cheaper, safer, and cleaner than fossil fuels, so what are you waiting for?
Rooftop solar isn’t an option for 80% of Americans, but community solar changes that by eliminating all the traditional barriers to solar adoption, such as upfront costs and housing requirements. Thanks to our community solar subscription model, anyone who pays an electric bill can now access discounted clean energy from a local solar farm. In addition to advocating for equitable energy policies, Neighborhood Sun provides additional discounts and financial support to low-income households through our S.H.A.R.E. (Solar Helps Advance Resident Equality) program and Neighbor Benefit Fund.