The Portland Press Herald recently published an article about the abundance of community solar options for Maine residents. While it’s great Maine businesses and consumers have so many options, the number of choices, different people presenting them, and the newness of community solar programs can lead to confusion.
We are happy to see clean energy catching some attention, and trusted sources taking the time to discuss what it means for our community, consumers, and local businesses. The challenge they identified in their article is at the core of what we do. Our team is focused on education first – helping people understand how community solar works and then helping them find the right program for them. We work hard to ensure customers understand the benefits they are getting and commitments they are making to the environment and the solar farms.
Portland Press Herald explains that “…a community solar company applies a credit to the kilowatt-hour charges on your monthly utility bill. The credit reduces the payment you owe to your electricity provider…” It can seem daunting at first, making a change to your monthly routine when it comes to billing, but to many of our clients, the savings and opportunity to use clean energy are worth the brief time it takes to learn about the programs and sign-up!
We have helped more than 200 Maine Businesses and over 120 sign up for a local community solar program to power their business or home with renewable energy and to save money on their electric bills. As the Portland Press Herald explains, “Discounts in Maine range from 10-15 percent, based on market competition and proprietary financial calculations. Contract lengths vary, from month-to-month to 20 years. Cancellation terms vary, too; many have no fee but require a specific time notice, such as 90 days.” At Maine Community Solar, we help customers understand their options and focus on the program that best fits their priorities.
How does the enrollment process work? As the Portland Press Herald explains, consumers “…simply agree to receive a kilowatt-hour credit on their monthly electric bills for a share of the power being generated, often the output that matches the annual demand of their homes. As a reward, they get a discount on the cost of their existing supply.” Maine.gov has created a useful information page on community solar, explaining what the benefits are and what it is, so consumers can do their own research as well.
Portland Press Herald explains why the enrollment process works the way it does, “Developers and marketers need to sign up customers months before projects are turned on. This gives project investors assurance that there’s a big enough customer base to support the output. That’s why Mainers are getting all these solicitations now, even though some projects offering subscriptions might not go live for a year or so.” The solar farms need to be able to envision what kind of power each farm will need to generate when it comes time, and to do this, they need an understanding of the usage their consumers have beforehand.
We invite interested Maine residents and businesses to reach out to us, request information or schedule a call or meeting with an Energy Specialist, we hope to help Maine consumers find understanding and comfort in knowing they have enrolled in a program that best suits them.
Tux Turkel, “For community solar shoppers, a marketplace of choice and confusion.” Portland Press Herald. May 23, 2021