We are very excited to announce that the Dogwood Community Solar Project is finished construction! The final steps for the project to be connected to the grid and start producing 100% clean solar electricity on your behalf are now completely in BGE’s hands and we anticipate that these steps will be completed by the middle of October.
This is not only exciting, but it also has raised many questions about how this electricity and the resulting credits will be reflected on your future BGE and Neighborhood Sun bills. I am hoping to address as many questions as possible with this email, but if there are still any questions, please don’t hesitate to call me at (240) 284-6245 or (240) 845-7136.
This is the most accurate information that we have as of 3:00 pm EST on September 11, 2019. There are other parties involved, including the project developers and BGE, and because of that, this is subject to change, but we don’t want anyone to feel that they are in the dark.
As mentioned earlier, we do anticipate that the Dogwood Community Solar Project will be connected, inspected, and producing power by the middle of October. Once it is producing electricity it will need to be running for at least one full month before BGE does its first meter reading at the site.
We point this out because, even though that power is being generated, until the meters at the project are read by BGE, there is no way to determine the amount of credits that are going to be issued on your behalf. We do expect that the first meter reading by BGE will be in mid-November, and it takes about a week to 10 days for those credits to be distributed.
For most of our subscribers, whose BGE billing cycle starts and stops in the first 2/3rds of each month, the credits are likely to show up on their December BGE bill. For those whose billing cycle falls a few days before or after the meter reading are likely to see their credits on their January 2020 BGE bill.
After these credits have been issued, Neighborhood Sun will then issue charges for the electricity produced using the payment method that each subscriber provided. For most people that will mean the beginning of January, but for some that will mean February, 2020.
In All Cases: Neighborhood Sun will not bill you for your electricity until after you have received your credits from BGE. Not only do we feel that this is the right way to treat our customers, but we won’t know how much electricity each customer was apportioned until after BGE tells you.
I am attaching an image of a Pepco bill with credits from our Oxon Hill Project. Because Dogwood is the first community solar project in the BGE territory we do not yet know how it will appear on the BGE bill, but we expect it will be similar. The image attached is the top of page 3 of the bill:
As you can see, July was an extremely productive month for solar – lots of long, sunny days. In fact, this customer also happened to be out of their house for much of the month and so the electricity that they produced was more than enough to offset their entire electric bill and more. So going into August they still had a balance of negative $110 (this was subtracted from their entire August bill from Pepco).
They got their first bill from Neighborhood Sun in the first week of September, and it was for the 1,974 kWh that was produced by the farm at the percentage discount that they agreed to when they signed up. We don’t share any customer’s information with other customers, so we will use an example here of a 10% discount to make the math easy:
Pepco’s credits at full price came out to $314.04, and so the bill from Neighborhood Sun will be for $282.64 ($314.04 *.90). That is a savings of $31.40 for July.
Please understand that this is an exceptional case because of the homeowner having significantly reduced usage during a highly productive month, but I hope that by reviewing this example you can see that the savings are real and you will be seeing them on your own bills soon.
Thanks one more time for making Community Solar a reality in this wonderful state of ours.