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Have some Questions?

Check out our FAQ list to see if we have any answers to your questions. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, schedule a quick call with us at a time that’s convenient for you. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How is Neighborhood Sun different from other companies that offer community solar?

In brief, we are a local small business that cares deeply about the well being of our state, and work hard to provide a personal relationship with our customers. You guys are literally our neighbors, and we want to help you save money and go green. To see details related to our ties to the community, check out our ‘Meet the Team’ page!

What does it mean to become a Neighborhood Sun member?

When you sign-up for solar through Neighborhood Sun, you are doing more than supporting local clean energy. You are becoming a member of a group that helps bring solar access to all, and that strengthens local communities in a variety of ways. There is no cost to membership – it’s free for all subscribers. But being a member is more than a title. First and foremost, we are your local champion protecting your rights. We are the first and hopefully only call you need to make if there are ever any issues with your account or other problems that need resolution. Our single most important goal is 100%-member satisfaction. We’ll stand up for your rights. To us, you’re not just a customer, but a valued member of our community. Click here to learn about the many benefits of Neighborhood Sun membership.

How do I contribute to the low-income community if I purchase community solar through Neighborhood Sun?

Our Solar Neighbor Benefit Fund is one of the (many) ways we work to support our community. We contribute money to this fund so low- and moderate-income residents can receive the benefits of community solar. As more people become community solar customers and join our membership, we can contribute more money to the Fund!

My question isn’t answered here!

This is a complicated field and we want to make sure you are as informed as possible. Reach out to us at hello@neighborhoodsun.solar if you have a specific question!

Is community solar the same as rooftop solar?

Community solar is NOT the same as rooftop solar. While rooftop solar requires that you install solar panels and equipment on your roof, community solar requires no installation, extra land, or repairs and maintenance. Community solar projects generate clean energy offsite that feeds into the pre-existing utility grid. The electricity produced can then be shared with customers in the community.

Is your quoted price really less expensive than what my utility charges?

Yes – we promise! Typically, the price listed by the utility includes only the supply charge per kilowatt hour and does not include any of the distribution services. Our price for solar offsets both the supply and distribution charges. Additionally, our price discount is based on the actual utility price; prices can be higher or lower depending on the season. Your price will always be at least 5% below the utility so you can go green without breaking the bank!

How do I contribute to the low-income community if I purchase community solar through Neighborhood Sun?

Our Solar Neighbor Benefit Fund is one of the (many) ways we work to support our community. We contribute money to this fund so low- and moderate-income residents can receive the benefits of community solar. As more people become community solar customers and join our membership, we can contribute more money to the Fund!

Is Neighborhood Sun compatible with CleanChoice, WGL, or other wind/green energy suppliers?

Yes- We are compatible! Your bill will still be calculated like it always has been. The supply charges are still handled by your third party supplier and your distribution fees being charged by your utility company. Our credits appear as a line in the distribution section

Have your community solar projects already been built?

Some, yes! As of September 2019, two solar projects are completed and operational, one is in the final stage of inspection, and the last project is expected to be done in first quarter 2020. You don’t have to delay in signing up, though – you can subscribe now. You will not be billed for anything until the project you signed up for is up and running!

If nothing is installed on my property, how am I actually contributing to fighting climate change?

Each community solar project provides electricity to the existing grid, so your utility will need to buy less “dirty” electricity from dirty sources. As we develop more and more solar projects, our subscribers help “clean up” the grid.

Does it work with Budget Billing?

Yes and No. The credits will be generated in your name, but you won’t see them until your utility company examines whether you are over or under. At that point you will receive a check for the balance on your account, including all of the solar credits generated in your name.

My question isn’t answered here!

This is a complicated field and we want to make sure you are as informed as possible. Reach out to us at MDCustomerCare@neighborhoodsun.solar if you have a specific question!

Do I have to pay an upfront fee to sign up?

No! You only pay for the energy after you get it.

Is your quoted price really less expensive than what my utility charges?

Yes – we promise! Typically, the price listed by the utility includes only the supply charge per kilowatt hour and does not include any of the distribution services. Our price for solar offsets both the supply and distribution charges. Additionally, our price discount is based on the actual utility price; prices can be higher or lower depending on the season. Your price will always be at least 5% below the utility so you can go green without breaking the bank!

How does billing and utility crediting work?

When we start generating solar power, it will appear on your utility bill as “PM Synergen 01” or something similar. This line item will offset your energy bill. You still pay your utility company, but the payment will be whatever is left after we help out

We bill you the following month, on the fifth of the month (or the nearest Friday if the 5th is a weekend). Our invoice, which we will email on the first of the month, will give the breakdown on how much we covered, how much we will charge (which will always be less than the amount we covered) and how much you saved because of it

Find more information on our Billing 101 page.

Is there a cancellation fee?

Not in most cases. All of our projects have slightly different terms, but they all have ways to cancel with no fees. Ask us about the details to find out more

Why does the contract say your rate doesn’t include taxes, distribution?

The contract states “The price set forth above does not include… utility fee[s] or charge[s]…”
Not because we have secret costs, but because utility fees don’t apply to our product! We’re not your new utility, we simply help cover your utility!

Do I pay based on my estimated usage, or my actual usage?

Neither. You pay based on the energy we generate. When we make more energy, we give more to you. When we make less, we give less. Your piece of the pie is decided at the time of signing and is intended to be most of your energy consumption in a year. We are able to adjust if you are getting too much or too little, just let us know!

My question isn’t answered here!

This is a complicated field and we want to make sure you are as informed as possible. Reach out to us at MDCustomerCare@neighborhoodsun.solar if you have a specific question!

Do I have to pay an upfront fee to sign up?

No! You only pay for the energy after you get it.

How does billing and utility crediting work?

When we start generating solar power, it will appear on your utility bill as “PM Synergen 01” or something similar. This line item will offset your energy bill. You still pay your utility company, but the payment will be whatever is left after we help out

We bill you the following month, on the fifth of the month (or the nearest Friday if the 5th is a weekend). Our invoice, which we will email on the first of the month, will give the breakdown on how much we covered, how much we will charge (which will always be less than the amount we covered) and how much you saved because of it

Find more information on our Billing 101 page.

Do I pay based on my estimated usage, or my actual usage?

Neither. You pay based on the energy we generate. When we make more energy, we give more to you. When we make less, we give less. Your piece of the pie is decided at the time of signing and is intended to be most of your energy consumption in a year. We are able to adjust if you are getting too much or too little, just let us know!

Does it work with Budget Billing?

Yes and No. The credits will be generated in your name, but you won’t see them until your utility company examines whether you are over or under. At that point you will receive a check for the balance on your account, including all of the solar credits generated in your name.

My question isn’t answered here!

This is a complicated field and we want to make sure you are as informed as possible. Reach out to us at MDCustomerCare@neighborhoodsun.solar if you have a specific question!

Billing Details

How Billing Works...

We assign you your share of the solar project

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. Payments are based on the amount of electricity generated by your portion of the solar farm, not your actual kWh use.

Billing is automated monthly

You will be automatically billed each month for the electricity your share of the solar project generates. 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!)

Keep an eye out for our emails

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).

You will still receive a bill from your electric utility provider

You will receive a separate bill from your utility company each month, just like you do now. It will reflect the solar credits in kWh you receive from Neighborhood Sun each month. You only pay the utility company their customer service charge and any kWh not already covered by Neighborhood Sun.

You save money every month

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 a monthly savings.

Your solar credits will roll over each month

If you use more energy than your average, you pay the excess use to your utility at their rate. If you use less energy than your average, your solar credits will roll forward to the next month. Any rollover credits remaining at the end of your contract will be “bought out” by your utility at that time.

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ATTENTION COMMUNITY SOLAR SUBSCRIBERS

We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are here to help our customers through temporary or extended financial hardship. If you have any concerns regarding payment for your community solar credits, please contact us at (240) 284-6245 or hello@neighborhoodsun.solar.

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