Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Clean Energy Collective?

Clean Energy Collective (CEC) is the nation's leading community solar solutions provider. CEC builds, operates, and maintains clean energy solar facilities for utilities and the communities in 16 states across the United States. CEC created the model of delivering clean power generation through medium-scale community solar facilities that are collectively shared by participating utility customers. CEC is starting solar facility development in New York and now offers its risk-free RooflessSolar™ product for New York residents in the Con Edison, Orange and Rockland, and Central Hudson service territories.

What is RooflessSolar?

With CEC’s RooflessSolar, solar panels are part of a large facility, located in an open space in or near your community, and connected to your utility’s grid, not on your roof or property. Electricity from the RooflessSolar facility is distributed across your utility’s electric grid, and participating customers are credited monetarily for the power produced by their portion of the capacity of that facility. We call this a "community solar" model. Community solar enables utility customers to benefit from clean solar energy regardless of their rooftop situation, shading, or customer’s ability to install and maintain solar at their service address.

Why should I participate?

Participation in RooflessSolar allows you guaranteed, risk-free savings of $0.01 for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) your system produces. This means you could save $100 in year one and approximately $2,300 over the 25-year term (or more if your electricity consumption is larger!). If you already source your electricity from an alternate power supplier, you could see even more savings off your total utility power supply costs!

Estimated customer sizing and savings:

Est. Monthly Electricity Spend Customer Solar Allocation Size Estimated Year 1 Savings Cummulative 25 Year Savings (estimate)
>$125 8 kW $100 $2,300
>$150 10 kW $125 $2,900
>$180 12 kW $150 $3,500


Sources:
1. Average customer size based on information from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
2. Monthly Electric Spend based on $0.15 per kWh cost of energy. Actual savings rates may be higher or lower. Speak with a Solar Specialist for a custom proposal.
3. Savings estimates based on CEC’s Savings Calculator, which assumes a first-year solar facility output of 1,250 kWh/kW, with 0.5% degradation each year thereafter.

Customers, on average, will likely save approximately 1 months’ worth of utility costs each year.

Who can participate?

Customers must have an active electric service address within the load zone of one of CEC’s RooflessSolar facilities. The RooflessSolar program is available to eligible residential customers with a FICO score of 680 or greater.

How can I participate?

RooflessSolar site locations are selected to allow the solar panels to orient towards the sun at the perfect angle, with no shade and lots of sun to maximize solar production and your savings. RooflessSolar projects provide up to a 20% performance enhancement over traditional rooftop solar systems. In addition, CEC constantly monitors facility performance and can quickly dispatch contractors to resolve any maintenance issues if needed.

What impacts will community solar have on my community?

The economic benefits of these projects will be felt for years to come – including decades of property tax payments in each of the project towns, millions of dollars of construction investment through utilizing local electricians and other contracted specialists to maintain the solar facilities, as well as the long-term savings that area businesses and residential customers will receive throughout the duration of the community solar program. The environmental benefits will be felt as well, as each community solar customer is contributing to a lower-carbon future for New York.

How large is the system I'm subscribing to?

Your system size will be customized to meet your energy needs. For example, a typical residential customer in your area may need an 8kW system, based on an annual electric consumption 7,000 kWh, or a monthly electricity bill larger than $1

You will be assigned a system size in kilowatts-DC based on your 12-month electric consumption history, and the details of your system size will be updated in your contract agreement.

How much does it cost to participate?

You pay nothing upfront to participate in this program, plus there are no installation costs or any maintenance fees. After your RooflessSolar facility is connected to the electricity grid, you will see two changes to your electric charges:

1) Bill credits on your normal utility bill. Your utility calculates credits earned for your monthly solar production, and places those credits on your utility bill.

1) A new bill for solar energy. CEC will assign you to a local New York solar facility, and you will see a bill from that facility for your portion of its solar power output each month.

Your utility calculates the value of your solar credits and applies those to your regular monthly electricity bill. The next month, CEC invoices you for those credits at the utility-determined rate minus $0.01 per kWh. The result is a net savings of $0.01 per kWh produced during the month.

How do bill credits work?

Each month, your utility calculates the number of kWh’s attributable to each customer in the RooflessSolar facility based on their share of the solar production. Once the kWh production for your allocation is determined, your utility will apply the bill credits to your electricity bill, based on their rate for solar power. This is known as a “bill credit.” The bill credit rate is determined by your utility, and it will fluctuate based on several local regulatory factors and the hourly price of energy. CEC will invoice you for a portion of those bill credits each month at a rate that gives you $0.01 per kWh savings – guaranteed!

If you ever have more bill credits than what you owe your utility in a given month, your credits will carry forward and be applied to future bills, as available.

HOW SAVINGS WORK

Based on an 8-kW allocation of solar

How does participation in RooflessSolar™ save me money?

Participation in RooflessSolar allows you guaranteed, risk-free savings of $0.01 per kWh for everything your system produces. This means you could save $100 in year one and approximately $2,300 over the 25-year term, based on the average 8-kW system.

Will I get the same amount of credits applied to my electricity bill each month?

Your credits will vary from month to month based on the monthly solar facility production and utility’s determined bill credit rate value. For example, in months when there is more sunshine, you will generally have a higher bill credit, and in cloudier months, you will have a lower bill credit.

Am I still connected to my utility?

Yes. With community solar, you are still connected to your local utility’s electric grid. Your utility bill will still reflect normal electric charges, only with RooflessSolar, you will see your utility determined bill credits that reduce your monthly balance.

Why does CEC invoice me for bill credits?

The amount you pay to CEC covers the cost of building, operating, and maintaining your commercial grade solar facility. In this pay-as-you-go model, you pay less to “go solar” and CEC takes care of the hassles of operations and maintenance, while ensuring that you get peak productivity from your portion of the solar facility.

How are ongoing maintenance expenses addressed?

CEC’s community solar facilities are maintained by experienced solar operation & maintenance service technicians at no additional cost to you.

Why is the contract so extensive?

We provide our customers with an extensive contract to accurately detail the terms and protect all parties involved – CEC, the utility, and the customer.

Am I signing a contract with Clean Energy Collective or my utility?

The agreement will be between you and CEC’s solar projects

What if I change my mind?

Once you’ve signed your agreement and it has been counter-signed by CEC, you have 3 days to cancel with no penalty.

Why a 25-year commitment? Can I get a shorter term?

Building a future based on clean energy is a long-term commitment, and CEC is committed to New York’s solar future. That means we also want to guarantee the benefits of going solar are yours for the long-term. But we understand things happen, so if you move outside the eligible service territory, you can find a replacement for your capacity with no exit fees incurred. For example, if you decide to move you can offer the subscription to the family that purchases your home, and CEC will facilitate the transfer to the new owners If your system capacity isn't successfully transferred and you move outside the eligible service territory, you will be assessed $50 per kW of your capacity.

What happens if I move?

Identify and arrange for a transfer of your system capacity to another eligible utility customer. CEC will assist with all necessary transfer paper work. No fee will be assessed for capacity transferred in this manner.

1. Identify and arrange for a transfer of your system capacity to another eligible utility customer. CEC will assist with all necessary transfer paper work. No fee will be assessed for capacity transferred in this manner.
2. If you cannot or do not wish to pursue the transfer of capacity, simply provide CEC notification that you intend to end your participation in the program and you will be assessed a $50/kW of capacity termination fee.

What kind of environmental impact am I having by participating in the program?

Over the lifetime of the program the average participant’s share of the solar facility will provide the estimated equivalent environmental benefits of planting 640 trees, or a reduction of 473,000 car miles driven, resulting in 208 tons of CO2 emissions avoided.

What is the "lifetime" of the system?

The lifetime of the system and the program is 25 years. All estimated savings and costs are based on 25 years. After 25 years, the program is terminated.

*Estimates are based on a household electric consumption of 833 kWh per month in New York state and an 8-kW solar system allocation. Please speak with a RooflessSolar™ Specialist to receive savings and environmental benefits specific to your electric consumption. Consult your proposal and/or contract for specific terms and conditions.

Why do you perform a credit check?

Subscribing to a RooflessSolar facility is a long-term commitment. CEC spends significant resources to develop, operate and maintain each project, so a credit check is required to assure that subscribers will be able to uphold their end of the subscriber agreement.

Why do you ask for my ACH and Credit Card information?

When you sign your contract to subscribe to a RooflessSolar facility, we begin setting up your account in preparation for the day that your solar facility will interconnect to the electricity grid. ACH is a hassle-free way to manage your subscription payments, and it facilitates quick and easy payment processing once your solar facility starts producing power. Your credit card is the backup form of payment, if ACH processing fails. The promptness of payment processing also allows CEC to continually monitor and maintain the solar facilities at no additional cost to our subscribers.

How do I make payments to CEC each month?

As a subscriber, your ACH account should be on file and will be auto-debited for the payment amount associated with your RooflessSolar system’s power generation during prior months. If your ACH form of payment fails on two separate attempts, your credit card will be used to process your payment.

Are there any fees or taxes?

Taxes are already incorporated into the program prices and are handled by CEC directly. If your ACH payment fails after any attempt at collection, you will be charged a $10 late fee. You will have the ability to maintain your designated ACH account and credit card information at any time on your MyOwnCleanEnergy portal.

When are my payments due?

It takes about 60 days for your utility to process your solar production amounts and communicate the details back to CEC. When your solar invoice is ready, CEC will provide electronic notice of the amount due. To clarify, this means that you will probably see the bill credits on your utility bill before receiving your solar production invoice. CEC will collect payment no sooner than 10 days after your receipt of your invoice. Payment is due within 15 days of our first attempt at payment collection.

Do I still need to pay my electric bill?

Yes. During the term of the agreement, you must keep both your utility account and your CEC account in good standing, making all payments when due. Each month, your utility will apply bill credits to your account based on your solar production, but there may still be other charges on your bill that you are responsible for paying.

What happens if I don't pay my CEC bill?

During the term of the agreement, you must keep both your utility account and your CEC account in good standing, making all payments when due. Each month, the utility will apply bill credits to your account based on your solar production. CEC will calculate the subscription payment amount you owe based on your payment rate and your solar production. CEC will provide you with an electronic notification of the payment amount and the date it will be withdrawn from the bank account you have on file (typically about 60 days after the end of the production period). Should your automatic payment account fail, CEC will assess a $10 fee for any late payment or alternate method used to reconcile your balance. Failure to make payments will result in your default of the Agreement.