CHICAGO, Dec. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Illinois’ new community solar program allows electricity customers to enjoy the benefits of solar energy without installing panels on their own homes. The Citizens Utility Board (CUB) has created a handy online resource—SolarInTheCommunity.com–-to educate consumers on the program and help them navigate available community solar offers on the market.
Community solar allows consumers to subscribe to a “solar garden,” which is built by a developer. When you sign up for a community solar offer, you are subscribing to a portion of the garden’s solar energy output. Community solar offers, marketed by several companies in Illinois, may be a good option for people who want to go solar but can’t put panels on their own homes—maybe they live in an apartment building or their roof doesn’t get enough sun.
If you participate in such an offer, each month you will pay a community solar provider for the amount of electricity generated by your subscription. The provider then reports your subscription’s energy output to the utility, which adds credits to your electric bill equal to that output. With most offers, you’ll get two bills: your existing utility bill and your new community solar bill. Even with two bills, most community solar deals offer savings of 10 to 20 percent.
To participate in a community solar project, you must be an electric customer in the utility territory where the community solar project is built. Unfortunately, most municipal utility or co-op customers cannot sign up for community solar, because there are no community solar projects being built in their electric provider’s territory.
To learn more, visit Solar in the Community. CUB offers information on navigating the market and breaks down all the solar community offers that are currently available.
For consumers who are interested in installing solar panels on their own home, CUB’s fact sheet on rooftop solar is another helpful resource.
CUB is Illinois’ leading nonprofit utility watchdog group. Created by the Illinois Legislature, CUB opened its doors in 1984 to represent the interests of residential and small-business utility customers. Since then, CUB has saved consumers more than $20 billion by helping to block rate hikes and secure refunds. For more information, call CUB’s Consumer Hotline at 1-800-669-5556 or visit CUB’s award-winning website, www.CitizensUtilityBoard.org.
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SOURCE Citizens Utility Board