Before You Get Started
Whether you’re looking for tips on what to do before getting started, researching membership options, or wondering what questions to ask before signing up, we offer resources to make your business’s individual solar process easier.
Before You Get Started
- Do your research
There are different options for community solar, including buying panels up front and paying for electricity as you go. Online reviews and customer references are excellent resources for getting background information on the company managing the project.
- Learn how you can save
The first step is to find out what your business is currently paying for electricity. The amount you’ll save is dependent on the type of project you choose and your company’s financial situation. For example, with a pay-as-you-go arrangement, you will want to understand what the cost savings will be for the term of the contract. Do the costs increase over time, and how does that compare to current cost increases? With a purchase arrangement, you will want to understand your return on investment, and know which tax credits are available to you.
- Know your contract inside and out
Whether involving the length of your contract, early cancellation policies, or late fees, your contract will have a lot of terms to consider. It’s important to understand exactly what you’re committing to. And, as with any other investment, be sure to make a list of the questions you need answered before you sign a contract, and consult a lawyer or accountant to better understand it.
Every project is different, and solar developers determine which plans are available. There are two basic options typically offered: subscription and purchase plans. Learn more about subscription and purchase plans.
Questions to Ask Before You Sign Up
Contracts and Agreements
- What membership or payment options are available for my business?
- How long is the agreement term, and what happens if my company relocates?
- What are the options at the end of the agreement?
- Can my company change its solar share in the middle of the agreement?
- Is there a financial penalty if we end the agreement early?
Money and Financing
- Is a payment or deposit required to hold my spot?
- What will it cost me on a monthly or annual basis, and how is that cost determined?
- Are there any additional fees?
- Are there any credits, rebates, or incentives available?
- How much money can my business save over the whole term of the contract?
- What financing options are available if my company purchases the panels?
- Will I be able to monitor how much electricity is generated by my company’s panels?
- Do you guarantee the amount of electricity generated by my panels? If so, what happens if that amount is not reached?
- Who is responsible for the maintenance and care of the community solar project? If there are issues, how will they be resolved?