Solar for Renters
The biggest barrier for renters getting access to solar has been the lack of ownership of a roof. With the addition of Subscription Community Solar to our portfolio, renters now are able to purchase KW shares of community solar projects. There is no installation on the roof so unless your landlord pays your electric bill, you don't need your landlord's permission to sign up.
When the utility receives electricity from our array onto the grid, they change those kilowatt hours into net metering credits and distribute them to participating electricity accounts.
Anyone who wants to save 15% on their electric bill in National Grid territory can subscribe. The credits are only applied if the electric account is in the name of the person who purchased the credits.
Unlike with regular solar, it doesn't cost thousands of dollars up front to participate.
Here's how it works:
1) You sign up for certain number of shares in the community solar array. Make sure you can participate. Currently only customers of National Grid or Eversource in Western Mass are eligible. As long as you stay living in the same utility load zone, your credits follow you where you move.
2) At the end of each month, you'll receive a credit on your electric bill that represents your portion of the kilowatt hours produced by the array. (The utility converts kilowatt hours into credits when they're placed on the grid.)
3) You'll pay Co-op Power 85% of the value of your credits through your Common Good account. For each hundred dollars in credits you earn on your electric bill, you pay Co-op Power eighty-five dollars.
We are using Common Good (formerly r-Credits) as our payment processor. They provide this service for free. It's free for you to sign up and there are no transaction fees for the Community Solar Shares. Other benefits from Common Good include credits for other purchases and bonus credits based on all your transactions.