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 February, Green Beings!
Do you know people who’d like to help push renewables forward by subscribing to a community solar project and/or contracting with a renewable electricity ESCO, yet they’re stuck? Confused? Still receiving NYSEG’s fracked shale gas-dominant default plan?
In this post, I plan to accomplish the following:
1 - Clarify some points of confusion
2 - Tell you what is new in ESCO and Subscription Solar-land
3 - Ask for your assistance
So let’s not waste any time:
1 - Clarifications
Unless you have purchased your own solar panels on your property or someone else’s property, you are eligible to subscribe to a Community Solar project.
Everyone is eligible to contract with a 100% Renewable Electricity ESCO, whether or not they have purchased solar panels or subscribed to a Community Solar project. Any kilowatt-hours not covered by your solar panel allocation will be covered by your ESCO.
Your fixed rate ESCO will change to a variable rate at the end of the contract period.
It is a good idea to ‘go shopping’ ( i.e. review your ESCO options) annually, particularly before the end of a fixed contract. When you’re ready to do that, locate the most recent ESCO update under the Renewable Energy resource tab here on the HeatSmart Tompkins website.
There are renewable options for churches and small businesses. Call me: 607-342-3159.
2a – What is NEW this month in ESCO-land?
Following the New York Public Service Commission’s December ESCO order, utilities and ESCOs have filed requests for extended time for compliance. In a few months, we should learn the outcome and which ESCOs are able to comply with the order and thus able to serve us. At this time, the sole surviving ESCO offering a 100% Renewable Electricity plan at a reasonable rate is Energy Cooperative of America (ECA).
2b – What is NEW this month on the Subscription Community Solar chart?
First, there are several new categories to help folks see how the various companies differ. Second, Solar Farms NY and Blue Rock Solar have been added. Why? Improved customer service plus the fact that DRS and Nexamp’s current projects are filled…Yes, you can still sign up for their next projects.
3 - Could I have your assistance please? Are you signed up with an ESCO or Subscription Solar project? If so, which one(s) and what has been your experience? If not, what is holding you back? Do you have questions? Concerns? May I help?