Frequently Asked Questions

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About the Community Solar Program

  • Also known as shared solar, Community Solar is a solar energy sharing program where solar energy is produced by a solar farm (sometimes called a solar garden), and is supported by local residents and businesses that subscribe to or own a portion of the farm. In turn, the community members receive solar credits. The program allows for locals to benefit from solar energy and support clean energy generation without taking the additional steps necessary to install rooftop panels on their property.

  • NRG Community Solar builds and operates offsite solar farms within select states. The solar farms are supported by local residents and businesses that can subscribe to a portion of the farm, relative to the size of their home or business. The solar energy generated by the subscriber’s farm allocation is sent directly to the power grid, and the subscriber receives solar credits, or Net Metering Credits, for the same solar output.

  • Community Solar offers a convenient and practical way to support locally-produced, clean energy generation. When you go solar, you actively help send renewable energy to the power grid, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. Because NRG Community Solar builds and maintains the solar farms, your roof is taken out of the equation. There is no rooftop installation, no home inspection requirement, and no ongoing maintenance. Additionally, there are no upfront costs for Community Solar, and overtime, based on your home’s energy usage and the farm’s output, you could save on your home’s electricity costs. Lastly, the construction and maintenance of local solar farms provides new local jobs for your community.

  • While both programs have meaningful environmental impact, the most significant difference between rooftop solar and Community Solar is convenience. Rooftop solar requirements include adequate roof space and access to sunlight, and permitting and installation that can become costly. Once a rooftop solar system is installed and activated, a homeowner is responsible for the maintenance of the panels, if they own the panels. Community Solar does not include rooftop installation or the associated requirements. Instead, the solar energy is generated by a nearby solar farm that is constructed and operated by our business. There are no associated costs to sign up, and no maintenance fees. Rather than solar energy being generated by and for one property, Community Solar farms generate power for the wider community, and deliver power directly to the power grid. Both solar options include long-term contracts.

  • No. NRG Community Solar is not a utility company and does not replace your utility company. When you become a customer, you will continue to receive a bill from your utility company for your standard energy charges. Additionally, you will receive a separate bill from NRG Community Solar for the program subscription fee.

  • We currently service select regions of Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New York (Hudson Valley). We are continually exploring expansion into new territories. To find out if you are in our serviceable footprint, contact a solar specialist at 1-888-372-1631.

  • No. The solar power generated by your allocation of a NRG Community Solar farm does not go directly to your home’s energy supply. Instead, it goes directly to the power grid, providing clean energy for your local community. Even though the solar energy does not directly supply your home’s electricity, your home is awarded with solar credits, or Net Metering Credits, for the energy generated by your allocation of the farm.

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Environmental Impact

  • Renewable power, or renewable energy, is energy produced from naturally regenerating sources. Examples include solar power, wind power, hydro power, and geothermal power. Supporting renewable energy sources helps supply the power grid with clean energy, rather than fossil fuels.

  • Solar power is energy generated by sunlight. The sun is a renewable energy source. Sunlight is converted to energy by solar cells on solar panels, through the photovoltaic effect. The energy captured by solar panels may deliver energy to an individual home or business in the event rooftop panels are installed, or directly to the power grid via a solar farm.

  • Solar energy production adds clean, renewable energy to power distributed by the electric grid. Renewable energy currently makes up 17% of energy generation in the United States. Meanwhile, nearly 63% of energy comes from fossil fuels. With Community Solar, you can help be part of a shift to increase the use of renewable energy sources. In just your first year as a NRG Community Solar customer, you can support the environmental impact of planting 7.9 acres of forest in the U.S., switching 225 regular lightbulbs to LEDs, and offsetting the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to a car driving over 16,000 miles.[1] That is the same as driving from San Francisco to New York, over 5.5 times!

    [1] Calculations based on estimated 9030 kWh of solar production in Year One. For more information about this calculation visit the EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.

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About the Community Solar Farms

  • Currently, NRG Community Solar farms are located in Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New York. We are continuing to develop Community Solar farms in these states and beyond.

  • NRG Community Solar currently has over 30 active farms currently producing solar power, and more are in development. To date, our solar farms have produced over 70 million kWh of clean power.

  • NRG Community Solar works with third party contractors to build the solar farms. Our professional, dedicated teams are highly trained, industry experts. We use industrial grade panels that are fully-tested prior to installation. Our teams additionally handle all inspections and interconnection to the power grid. After the construction phase, NRG Community Solar continues to own and operate the solar farms.

  • NRG Community Solar is responsible for year-round maintenance of the solar farms.

  • No. There is no maintenance fee in the current NRG Community Solar contract.

  • NRG Community Solar uses industrial-grade solar panels that are thoroughly tested for performance and weather endurance. Although there is normal, expected degradation over the years, the panels are engineered to last over 20 years before needing replacement.

  • NRG Community Solar teams carefully select appropriate sites and land to build solar farms, ensuring adequate amounts of sunlight and meeting all permitting requirements and regulations. Next, the construction phase begins, which can take up to six months. Once construction is complete, NRG Community Solar works with the utility to connect the farm to the power grid (interconnection). Finally, the farm is inspected by the utility and, once deemed operational, it is activated and begins generating power. Customers may subscribe to their local Community Solar farm prior to the farm’s activation, but will not be billed until the farm is active.

  • No. At this time, we do not allow visits to our Community Solar farms as many of them are located on private property. To see images and videos of our farms, please visit us here.

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Quote & Pricing

  • Solar Credits and Net Metering Credits are interchangeable terms. Both refer to the credits NRG Community Solar farm subscribers receive for the solar energy generated by their allocation of their assigned Community Solar farm. The term “Net Metering Credit” is more commonly used in solar farms in Massachusetts and Minnesota, while “solar credit” is used in New York. The credits can help reduce a customer’s energy costs over time. The amount of credits may vary with the seasonal output of solar generation, while the impact of the credits will vary based on a customer’s home energy usage. NRG Community Solar customers are provided full transparency into the monthly credits received, and can view the output of their farm allocation online within their customer portal. In most markets, solar credits are automatically applied to a customer’s utility bill. Program billing may vary by region. To learn more about how solar credits work, visit our Understanding Solar Credits page.

  • Just like your home’s energy usage varies, the output of our solar farms will vary based on the degree of sunlight. More solar energy is generated during sunnier times of the year. Your allocation of the solar farm is determined by your historical energy usage so that you are not over or undersubscribed, and in the best position to positively impact your energy costs over time. Our program is designed for the ebb and flow of the farm’s production, and fluctuations in your household’s energy consumption.

  • While it is possible that your applied solar credits could offset your utility energy costs, the impact may vary based on the amount of solar energy generated by your allocation of the farm, as well as your home’s energy usage. Our rate structure is designed to help you better manage your costs while you actively support clean energy generation and a reduction of the use of fossil fuels. Your earned solar credits will be deducted from your energy supply charge and delivery charge, and will not impact other associated fixed fees and taxes listed on your utility bill.

  • During our enrollment process, you will be asked to provide a past utility bill. This allows us to evaluate your historical energy usage and rate. Your information is confidential and secure.

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Billing

  • Billing may vary based on your location. For all regions, you will receive a monthly statement from NRG Community Solar for your subscription cost. We offer paperless billing options as well as AutoPay. You will continue to receive a separate bill from your utility for your energy supply charge, delivery charge, and associated fees and taxes. For most customers, earned solar credits are automatically applied to the customer’s utility bill. However, in certain regions of Massachusetts, the credits are deducted from the NRG Community Solar subscription rate and any credits that exceed your costs will be refunded in a quarterly check.

  • You will not receive a bill from NRG Community Solar, or any solar credits, until the farm is activated and begins generating credits for you. You will be billed for the first full month of production upon the farm’s first meter read. This could range between the second and third month after the first full month of production.

  • The first solar credits, or Net Metering Credits, will be applied to your utility bill (or NRG Community Solar bill based for select Massachusetts customers) following the production start date of your solar farm, upon the farm’s first meter read. This could range between the second and third month after the first full month of production.

  • You will continue to be billed separately for your home’s electricity use by your local utility. Your bill will include your energy supply charges, delivery charges, and associated fees and taxes. Based on your region, solar credits may automatically be applied to your utility bill, potentially reducing the cost of your electricity supply charge.

  • Yes. You may sign up for paperless billing online in your customer portal or by contacting Customer Support. Additionally, you can enroll in AutoPay online, or request an enrollment form by email or phone.

    Online
    Once your farm is activated, you can enroll in AutoPay online through our secure Customer Portal. Go to portal.nrgcommunitysolar.com, then login to your account and select the “Billing Information” tab.

    Email
    To have an AutoPay enrollment form emailed to you, you may email Customer Support at communitysolarsupport@nrg.com, or call 1.855.712.7508 from Monday through Friday, 7am – 7pm CST.

    By Mail
    To have an AutoPay enrollment form mailed to you, please call Customer Support at 1.855.712.7508 from Monday through Friday, 7am – 7pm CST. Once you have completed the form, it can be mailed to NRG Community Solar, P.O. Box 304, Houston, TX 77001.

  • We make it easy to pay your NRG Community Solar bill by offering several payment options.

    Online
    Once your farm is operational, you can pay your bill online through our secure Customer Portal. Go to portal.nrgcommunitysolar.com, then login to your account and select the “Pay Your Bill” tab.

    Not registered yet? Go to portal.nrgcommunitysolar.com, and select the “Register Now.” Make sure you have your Community Solar Agreement ID and Utility Account number handy.

    By Phone
    You can also submit payment by calling our Customer Support team at 1.855.712.7508 from Monday through Friday, 7am – 7pm CST.

  • We accept most major credit cards and debit cards including Visa and MasterCard. We do not accept American Express at this time. You can also make a payment using your bank account (ACH). We also accept checks or money orders through the mail.

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Enrollment

  • Our enrollment process is seamless and an assigned solar specialist can guide you every step of the way. To contact a solar specialist, you can submit a request online, or call 1.888.372.1631. Your consultation is free and includes a custom quote. As part of your enrollment, you will need to provide a past utility bill, and undergo a soft credit check. Finally, your solar specialist will review all terms and help you to sign and complete your customer Agreement.

  • To determine if you qualify to enroll, your property must be within our serviceable footprint and you must have a qualifying utility as your electricity provider. A solar specialist can help you determine if you consume the minimum required energy usage and pass our credit requirements. To contact a solar specialist, you can submit a request online, or call 1.888.372.1631.

  • Yes. NRG Community Solar requires a soft credit check for enrollment to ensure credit qualifications, similar to many other companies with customer agreements.

  • Our contract terms vary by region and start at 20 year terms. The long term commitment helps ensure the most optimal rate for your home, and provides customers a fixed-rate structure, including a fixed-escalator.

  • After you enroll, your solar specialist will facilitate a Welcome Call, and you will receive a Welcome Kit in the mail to help you get started. You will also receive periodic email communications updating you on your farm’s development. You can monitor your farm’s development using our online Customer Portal. You can register your account online in the Customer Portal by going to portal.nrgcommunitysolar.com, and selecting “Register Now.” Make sure you have your Community Solar Agreement ID and Utility Account Number handy. Once your farm is activated, you will be able to pay your bills online, monitor the solar credits generated, and track the environmental impact of your commitment.

  • You may cancel your agreement, without any penalty or obligation, by submitting the Notice of Cancellation to us at any time prior to midnight of the third (3rd) business day after the signing of your agreement. In addition, you may cancel your agreement by providing notice to us until the earliest occurring of 1) the solar farm’s production start date or 2) 90 days following the date on which you execute your agreement.

  • If you move within the same service territory and load zone, your agreement will move with you. You must provide written notice of your new address at least 90 days prior to your move. We’ll coordinate with the utility to have your solar credits redirected to your new account.

    If you move outside the utility service area, you may transfer your solar farm allocation by finding an eligible replacement customer. Any proposed replacement customer must satisfy our credit standards and other applicable customer qualifications. You’ll still be responsible for monthly payment to NRG Community Solar until the utility transfer is complete. Reassignment fees won’t apply as long as you provide documentation of your move confirming that you are moving outside the service area. Once a customer is identified, customer transfers may take 2-6 months to process.

  • In addition to the cancellation terms above, you may cancel your agreement if an eligible replacement customer agrees to assume your agreement for your allocation amount. NRG Community Solar may find an eligible replacement customer for you for a fee.  You’ll still be responsible for monthly payments to NRG Community Solar until the utility transfer is complete. Once a customer is identified, customer transfers may take 2-6 months to process.

Still have questions?

Contact our friendly customer support agents at 1.855.712.7508

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