Note: To power your home with renewable energy, see the most recent Subscription Community Solar chart and FAQ: and 100% Renewable Electricity chart.
By Gerri Wiley, HeatSmart volunteer and Energy Navigator
Happy August, Green Beings!
Visit the links for Subscription Solar Chart and FAQ as well as the 100% Renewable ESCO Chart, all 3 updated for August. WHAT’S DIFFERENT?
Having been ‘on probation’ several times, you’ll see that Solar Farms NY is off the chart for now. Why? When customers wish to leave a Subscription Solar plan, they should be able to do so within a set time period, which is typically 60-90 days. However, if for some reason, solar credits continue to be posted on your utility bill many months after you have notified a company that you wish to cancel and you continue to be billed for them, this is unacceptable. Another reason SFNY is off the chart is that a service representative provided me with wrong information. To me, this indicates the lack of adequate staff training.
What should you do if you are signed up with SFNY, happy with them, and aren’t planning to cancel? I would recommend that you continue to enjoy receiving your 5% discount with them. There is no reason to panic.
100% Renewable ESCO
Yes, ESCO, singular tense. I sure wish there were several. A particular joy item would be a fixed price option. However, establishing a fixed 12 or 24 month price can be a scary prospect for an ESCO after seeing NYS REC prices shoot up over the past year. Hopefully, a solution will be found by NYSERDA, NYPA, and the PSC to soften these price leaps and create a more predictable market.
That being said, Energy Coop of America’s Renewable Plan continues to be an honorable choice, keeping the price low, even though its rate is variable. By November, we’ll be able to see the percentages of its renewable sources for 2020, which look to be at least 50% biogas (landfill gas) with wind and hydro making up the balance. Note that until we remove organics from our landfills, tapping the resultant biogas emissions is important. I’m sure you agree that every bit of methane we can keep out of the atmosphere is critical to buying us the time we need to achieve a livable climate. Starting this year, biogas will not be included as a renewable electricity source, so we’ll see if ECA continues to be a reliable 100% renewable ESCO.
Here for you
I look forward to hearing about your positive and negative experiences with Subscription Solar companies and ESCOs. Your experiences are an important part of my vetting process.