Community Solar FAQs
Overview of Community Solar Savings Program
A community solar project is a single site solar installation that is shared by multiple subscribers. Community solar allows "subscribers" to receive community solar credits on their electricity bill and support the development of renewable energy resources without needing to install any solar equipment on their residence.
FEJA refers to legislation passed in 2016. FEJA made many changes to how energy policy works in Illinois, including enabling community solar.
FEJA also includes new state administered programs called the Adjustable Block Program and
Solar for All that help support community solar
development, however community solar projects are not obligated to participate in these state programs.
It is an easy way to support clean energy generation located within Illinois. Supporting these types of projects help reduce the dependence on fossil fuels and support clean energy generation. In addition, you do not have to invest in a solar asset on your rooftop, which may not be right for everybody. You will receive a community solar credit on your monthly Ameren or ComEd electric utility bill for your share of the generation created by these projects. The mc² program does not have upfront costs, will not lock you into a long-term contract, and will provide savings if the subscriber follows a few simple steps.
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Eligibility and Enrollment Information
Each community solar project will have capacity for a limited number of initial subscriptions (approximately 300 +/- residents) per project.
Residents on the reservation list will be contacted as new community solar subscription opportunities become available through mc² as subscription agent for the project developer.
Residential rate class, watt-hour and small commercial rate class (0-100 kW) customers are eligible.
Community Solar and Net Metering
Yes, customers that have installed behind-the-meter distributed-generation resources on their premise, such as roof-top solar arrays, are currently eligible to participate as a subscriber in a community solar project. However, the ideal subscription size may depend on how much of your home or business’ electric usage is offset by the current behind-the-meter resource.
ComEd designated net metering customers served by ComEd will receive monthly community solar generation credits based on the applicable price to compare and their specific subscription size. The size of the community solar subscription will be based on estimates of the amount of bill credits that each customer can use over the course of the year (although the credits do not expire).
Ameren designated net metering customers served by Ameren are eligible for a community solar subscription. The potential community solar subscription size is sized to the customer’s net usage; the value the customer sees depends line item-to-line item. Some line items may be charged on a net basis (i.e. the number of kilowatt-hours that flow through your meter from the grid minus the kilowatt-hours generated by your behind-the-meter system and your subscription) while others for community solar may be charged on a gross basis (i.e. the number of kilowatt-hours that flow through your meter from the grid). Whether certain line items are compensated on a net or gross basis will depend on the customer’s delivery class. Savings is best analyzed on a case by case basis behind Ameren.
Maybe, but it depends on sizing your subscription so that you can put your bill credits to use by offsetting utility bill charges. We do not recommend community solar subscriptions for customers with behind-the-meter net metering resources that offset most or all of the customer’s usage are less likely to have enough of a bill remaining to benefit from community solar bill credits. Conversely, customers who still have a substantial bill even after the value from the behind-the-meter system may save money.
Because community solar and some behind-the-meter revenues are bill credits (as opposed to value a customer can cash out), it is important to size the applicable credits to the portions of the bill that can be offset. The potential savings opportunity may be reduced (or even negative) if your bill credits exceed the amount of your electric bill over time.
Billing and Service Information
When you join the Reservation List and a community solar project becomes available to accept new subscribers, you will be notified with an opportunity to enroll. After successfully completing the enrollment process, you will receive community solar credits on your monthly Ameren or ComEd electric utility bill for your share of the generation created by your Community Solar project. See invoice examples
. The community solar credits, based on your subscription, will appear on your monthly utility bill and will be credited against your total electricity utility costs. mc² then bills you for 80% of the community solar credits, resulting in a 20% monthly savings
of the community solar credits. mc² even shows you how your participation impacts the environment each month. See MC2 Bill Sample
A Renewable Community Supply Credit will appear on your monthly ComEd electric utility bill for your share of the actual solar generation created by the Community Solar project. This monthly community solar credit can be found listed within the “Supply” portion of your ComEd bill statement, reducing your monthly electricity utility supply costs.
MC Squared Energy Services, LLC (mc²) will separately bill you for 80% of the monthly community solar credit received, as the program subscription fee, using the credit/debit card that was provided during the secure on-line enrollment process. The net result is a savings of 20% of the solar generation credits to you!
The community solar subscription invoice from mc² will be sent after the monthly generation data from the community solar project is reconciled and validated with ComEd which means that there could be up to a one-month lag of the subscription fee invoice depending on your meter read cycle timing. To reconcile the net savings for a specific month, please refer to the billing period listed on your recent mc² subscription fee invoice and compare to the corresponding generation period listed on your ComEd electric utility bill. An example is shown below.
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