Community Solar allows almost all utility customers, homeowners, renters, religious institutions, some businesses and nonprofits, to easily benefit from solar.
What is Community Solar
and how does it work?
Community Solar allows utility customers – homeowners, renters, nonprofits, houses of worship, and many businesses – to support local, clean energy produced by a community solar farm, while benefiting from guaranteed savings! With no cost to join or cancel, Sustainable Westchester Community Solar makes going green easy and accessible. By joining Community Solar, you are helping reach New York’s ambitious goal of 70% renewable electricity by 2030 and 100% by 2040. Have any questions about community solar or how to enroll, please email [email protected] or call Claire Kokoska at 914-242-4725 ext. 112
What is a solar farm?
A solar farm is a large-scale solar installation that collects energy from the sun and transforms it into electricity used to power everything we do in our daily lives. Solar farms are constructed on large commercial rooftops or parking lots, or in open sunny fields to generate electricity in a cost-effective manner. Community Solar farms send the energy produced to the local electric grid and each new solar farm connected helps to green the electricity supply that powers our area. The utility that receives this energy, rather than paying the owner of the solar farm directly, and places credits on the utility bills of community solar subscribers. This allows the solar farm owner to bill the subscribers a discounted amount for the credits.
The utility receives the clean renewable energy, the subscribers receive a discount for their solar credits and the owner of the solar farm receives the discounted payments from the subscribers, resulting in benefits to all participants.
How Community Solar
Relates to Westchester Power
Westchester Power (Community Choice Aggregation, CCA) is Sustainable Westchester’s community-based energy purchasing program intended to control costs and increase the use of renewable energy in Westchester County. Because Community Solar simply results in credits on your electricity bill and doesn’t replace your electricity supply, it is fully compatible with the Westchester Power program and provides another way that Sustainable Westchester is delivering clean energy benefits to members. In the future, we will integrate Community Solar more tightly in the Westchester Power program when regulatory changes allow this. For now, we are pleased to offer the two opportunities and to communicate about all the clean energy choices available to Westchester residents.
Step by Step
1. You sign up to enroll in a community solar farm (see our How to Enroll video)
2. You earn credits on your electricity bill for your share of the solar-powered electricity that is produced.
3. The community solar farm bills you for those credits at a 10% discount, saving you money on your electricity bill.
4. Feel good in knowing that you’ve supported solar energy while saving on your bill!
Have questions? Interested in signing up? Reach us at [email protected] or call 914-242-4725.
A Brief Historical Perspective
Sustainable Westchester’s Community Solar program grew out of Solarize Westchester, a leading community-based initiative to accelerate residential and commercial solar adoption. Offered in partnership with Abundant Efficiency, Solarize Westchester resulted in over 600 solar installations in 22 participating municipalities with vetted solar installers.
Despite the success of Solarize Westchester, 85% of the 4,000+ individuals interested in installing solar panels determined it wasn’t the right solution due to shade, roof condition, financial barriers, or other reasons. In addition, all renters and most multi-family property owners were excluded altogether. Sustainable Westchester created its Community Solar program in response, vastly increasing accessibility to renewable energy benefits while providing both immediate and long- term benefits to those subscribed.
In the News
- TapInto, November 22, 2019, Community Solar Widens Its Reach
- The Scarsdale Inquirer, November 2, 2019 Community Solar Helps Cut Energy Costs
- “Sunrise Solar Solutions wins new religious-focused Solarize contract in New York,” Solar Power World, April 24, 2019