By Gerri Wiley, Energy Navigator and HeatSmart Volunteer
Note: To power your home with renewable energy, see the most recent Subscription Community Solar update and 100% Renewable Electricity update.
Happy 2020, Visionaries!
Holy Steamed Green Beings…this past month sure has been a ride! What's new?
SUBSCRIPTION COMMUNITY SOLAR
Folks are signing up right and left for Subscription Community Solar. I guess they’re finally realizing that there’s no catch…You really do save money while supporting solar electricity. The two best companies in terms of solid track record and percent discount off your NYSEG supply and distribution rate continue to be Delaware River Solar and Nexamp. This is the perfect time to sign up in order to reap the solar benefits in late spring or summer when the next solar farms ‘go live’.
Several people have asked me about credit checks and also about paper billing, so because the two companies differ in these two respects, I’ve added rows to the chart, noting those differences.
1) Credit Score: Basically, if your credit score is low and/or you don’t tend to pay your utility bill on time, you’ll want to go with Nexamp, which does not require a credit check. Delaware River Solar does a ‘soft credit check’, meaning that if your credit score is low, they’ll check your bill paying record.
2) Paper Billing: If you need or want paper billing, you’ll want to choose Nexamp. DRS’s billing is online only.
DRS and Nexamp are both fine solar subscription companies. Keep me informed if you have experiences that agree or disagree with my analysis. I depend on you for this!
All hell has broken loose in New York State’s ESCO market since the Public Service Commission’s ESCO order was issued December 12, 2019. In a multi-year effort to whip ESCOs into shape, the PSC has shaken ESCO-land and it will take a while until the dust settles. The playbook has changed and ESCOs must now toe the line and meet at least one of these three criteria. They must offer:
To ensure transparency, an on-bill price comparison between the utility and ESCO will be required.
The details abound, but these are the main gotchas for ESCOs to operate in New York State.
During the ESCO shakedown, I predict that the ESCO list will become much shorter, but hopefully the 100% renewable ESCOs will survive or better yet…thrive.
I’m sorry to say I needed to remove Clearview Energy this month while they are “working on new plan rates and have no online plans available in New York at this time. Plans will be available in the near future.” Please read my notes on the attached ESCO sheet now left with JUST ONE remaining 100% renewable ESCO for now! ECA has done a great job keeping its renewable, variable-rate plan's cost low, with a 12-month average of just 4.80 cents/kWh.