Frequently asked questions
What is community solar?
Community solar is a way to offset utility bill charges using locally installed solar arrays. Instead of installing solar panels on your own property, truSolar builds arrays off-site and transfers the benefits of solar to customers in the form of utility bill credits.
How does it work?
We build solar farms in your area.
The solar farm sends electricity into the local utility company’s power lines.
The utility company applies bill credits to your monthly bill.
You continue to receive the same electricity service from your utility.
How do I sign up?
The first steps are to fill out the basic sign-up form, select a payment option and sign the agreement. Afterward, we’ll verify your eligibility, take a look at your latest utility bill and let you know how much solar we think works best for you. If the projects are not yet operational, we’ll inform you of when you can expect to see your first credits.
What options do you offer?
truSolar, powered by Distributed Sun and EWT Americas, offers two plans:
- The Mindful Saver—Save with community solar - 10% discount in the first year and 5% thereafter
Plan provides guaranteed annual savings on energy supply and delivery cost. Your subscription supports local renewable energy generation, creates construction jobs, adds tax revenue and reduces reliance on non-New York and other foreign resources. Our bill credits and discounts can be applied to both energy supply and delivery rates. Traditional ESCOs cannot provide a discount on delivery rates.
- The Good Neighbor—Help community members in need at no cost to you
Support great causes at no extra cost. You’ll continue to receive the same reliable service and pay par value for community distributed generation credits, which means no impact to your annual utility expenses. Your monthly payments will be combined with other Good Neighbor subscribers to provide free or discounted energy to a local family or veteran in need. And just like all of our plans, your choice collectively drives clean energy efforts and local economic well-being.
*Plans are offered on a first-come first served basis and enrollments are limited. Join while the discounts last.
Who can join?
If you’re a NYSEG customer, pay a residential or small commercial utility bill, and reside in the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier or Central New York, you may be eligible to sign up for community solar through truSolar. Whether you own or rent, you can participate. Not sure if you’re eligible? Fill out the sign-up form and we’ll let you know.
Why should I join?
truSolar makes it easy to join the community solar movement. Here’s what your participation can bring to you and your community:
- Save money on your electric bill
- Help provide free or discounted energy to a local family or veteran in need
- Earn environmental benefits
- Help New York meet its renewable energy goals
- Support clean, local renewable energy development in your community
- No solar panels on your roof or property
- No up-front costs or down payment
How much does it cost to join?
This is a pay-as-you-go program. There are no sign-up costs, no up-front investments, no hidden fees and no annual charges.
Am I buying solar panels with my subscription?
No. truSolar will own and operate the solar arrays. As a participant, you don’t have to buy, install or maintain any equipment.
What will I be paying for?
You will be paying for utility bill credits from community solar arrays, which are used to partially offset charges on your monthly utility bill. Your utility company will track how much renewable energy is generated against your share of the community solar array and apply a credit to your bill.
What’s the monthly price?
The rates are set by tariffs that are administered by the New York State Public Service Commission.
Will I save every month?
If you enroll in the Mindful Saver plan, your monthly utility bill and total annual combined bills (utility plus truSolar) will always be less than what you would have otherwise paid the utility. However, your monthly combined bill may be higher in some months and lower in others. The number of times this happens throughout the year depends on seasonal solar production changes, your electricity use and actual market rates.
How much will I save?
With the Mindful Saver option, you will earn a 10% discount monthly on your community solar credits in the first year, and a 5% discount monthly in the years following throughout your contract term. Your total dollar savings will depend on how much energy you use and future energy prices. The more energy prices increase, the more you save. The Mindful Saver offers a guaranteed discount, so you will always pay less than the value of the credits you earn.
Can I track my savings?
Yes. Once your community solar arrays start generating electricity, we will provide you with an online account so you can view your savings and manage your bills.
Do I need to install any equipment on my property?
No. With community solar, you don’t have the hassle of owning and maintaining a solar array. We install all the equipment off-site and are responsible for any maintenance.
Who will provide electric service?
Your existing utility. Community solar does not disrupt your electric service from the utility company. Please call your utility company for outage or service needs.
What if I have multiple utility meters?
Great! Each utility account can separately subscribe to whichever truSolar option you prefer.
Will I still receive a bill from my utility company?
Yes. Once you sign up and start receiving utility bill credits, there will be a new section on your electric utility bill showing your credits from your community solar arrays.
Will truSolar send me a bill?
Yes. We will send you a bill for the credits allocated to your electric utility bill.
Can I pay for my truSolar plan through my utility?
At this time, you cannot pay for your truSolar plan through your utility.
Do you require a credit check?
Yes. However, it is a soft credit check that has no impact on your credit score.
Are you an ESCO?
No. We are neither an ESCO nor a retail energy provider. truSolar is an owner, operator and provider of community solar.
Can I still enroll if I purchase my energy through a third-party energy supplier, such as an ESCO?
Yes. Your community utility bill credits are applied to your utility bill, regardless of whether you purchase your energy through your utility or a third-party supplier.
Why do I need to provide a copy of my electric bill?
We need your electric bill to verify whether we can serve your utility account and location, tailor your subscription size to your annual electricity use and inform the utility of how to allocate the credits to your bill. If you cannot provide a copy of your electric bill during enrollment, email it separately to us.
What happens if my electricity use changes?
Each year, we will review your electricity use over the past 12 months and resize your plan accordingly. If your electricity use increases, we will allocate more utility credits to the following year. If your use decreases, we will lower the utility credits allocated. Any excess unused credits in your account will roll over month to month until they are used up.
What happens if I move?
We can move with you—as long as your new account is within one of the eligible service territories. In that case, we’ll seamlessly transfer your community solar subscription to your new utility account. If you move outside of one of the eligible service territories and know someone who would like to subscribe, let us know and we’ll set them up. Otherwise, you can cancel your account.
Can I cancel?
Yes. You can cancel within three days of enrollment without any questions asked.