Community Solar Education

If you're interested in solar for your home, you'll find that there are many options to consider and questions to answer.

Whether you're at the very early stages of your process and looking for tips on what to do before getting started, looking for help researching membership options, or looking for help on questions to ask before signing up, we've got resources to make your individual solar process easier.

Before You Get Started

1. Do your research. Be sure that the solar offering you're choosing works for your situation. There are options for buying panels up front or for paying for electricity as you go. Different options are designed to meet different needs. Online reviews and customer references are excellent resources for getting background on the company that manages the project.

2. Learn how you can save. There are different ways a Community Solar project can save you money, and the amount you'll save is completely dependent on the type of Community Solar project in your area and your personal financial situation. Be sure and take a look at your contract and understand your commitments for the full term.

With a “pay-as-you-go” arrangement be sure you understand what your cost savings will be for the term of the contract. Are there annual escalators? With a purchase arrangement understand your return on investment, and know what tax credits are available to you.

3. Get to know your contract. From the length of your contract, to early cancellation policies and late fees, your contract will have a lot of terms for you to consider. It's important to understand exactly what you're committing to and what you can expect down the road.

And, like any other investment you'd make (like buying a car or an insurance policy) be sure to make a list of the questions you need answered before you sign a contract.

Membership Types

Every project is different, and the developers of Community Solar projects 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

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 do you determine that cost?
  • Are there any fees?
  • Are there any credits, rebates or incentives available?
  • How much money do you estimate I can save over the whole term?
  • What financing options are available if I purchase the panels?

Contracts and Agreements

  • What membership options are available to me?
  • How long is the agreement term, and what happens if I move?
  • What are my options at the end of the agreement?
  • Can I change my solar share in the middle of my agreement?
  • Is there a financial penalty if I end the agreement early?

Power Generation

  • Will I be able to monitor how much electricity my panels generate?
  • Do you guarantee the amount of electricity generated by my panels?
  • If so, what happens if that amount is not reached?