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Community solar for National Grid New York customers

community solar farm connected to the electric grid and homes
See community solar projects near you

With community solar, you can subscribe to a share of a solar farm near you. If you have an electric bill, you can support renewables without installing anything on your property – and save money!

Is community solar available for National Grid New York customers?

The Empire State is home to one of the best community solar markets in the country - and National Grid customers can join in on the savings. NY first launched community solar in 2015 as part of the Shared Renewables Program, an initiative to help make clean, affordable energy accessible for all types of New Yorkers.

Where can you get community solar for National Grid New York customers?

Residents in Albany, Buffalo, and Syracuse (and anyone else in National Grid NY territory) with electricity service from National Grid can take advantage of community solar to save money on electricity.

What is community solar?

A community solar project is a solar farm whose electricity is shared by more than one property. The primary purpose of a community solar farm is to allow members of a community to share the benefits of solar power even if they cannot or prefer not to install solar panels on their property. Project participants benefit from the electricity generated by the community solar farm, which costs less than the price they would ordinarily pay to their utility.
community solar marketplace diagram

How much can I save by joining a National Grid New York community solar farm?

row of buildings

Savings differ from program to program, and also vary by month. On average, most community solar subscribers in National Grid New York receive a 5-10% discount off of traditional electricity costs over the course of a year.

See community solar projects near you

Community Solar FAQs

Electricity bill savings differ from program to program, and also vary by month. On average, most community solar farm subscribers receive a discount between 5-10% off of traditional electricity costs over the course of a year.

After subscribing to a community solar program, you will start receiving two separate bills: you’ll continue receiving a monthly bill from your utility company, but this bill will include any applicable credits from the community solar farm. You will also receive a separate bill from your community solar provider for the cost of your share or subscription.

Sign up or membership fees vary depending on the project, provider, and payment model – many community solar providers offer $0-down subscription options, while others may charge a small, initial sign-up fee to get you up and running.

It depends – if you’re moving to a location that’s still in the same electricity service territory as your current home, you may be able to transfer your community solar subscription to your new address. However, if you’re moving further away, you may need to cancel your subscription or transfer your contract to another utility customer (whether that be the new homeowners or someone else in the project’s service territory). Cancellation and transfer terms and applicable fees vary by project and provider, so confirm these policies with your provider prior to signing up.

Before signing a contract with a community solar provider, it’s important to compare estimated savings, cancellation terms, project location, payment model, subscription fees, and more. Using the Community Solar Marketplace, you can compare multiple local options and find the best project for you.

What are the benefits of community solar?

buildings subscribed to community solar

Local Energy

Community solar programs help support local renewable energy jobs and project development in New York, connecting you directly to clean energy projects in your community.

Savings

You can save 5-10% off of your annual electricity costs with community solar.

Accessibility

Unlike rooftop solar, you don’t need to own your property to take advantage of community solar (you just need an electric bill!)

Ease

Many community solar farms have no subscription fee and are easy to opt-out of. Plus, you don’t need to install or maintain any equipment on your property.

Who offers community solar to National Grid New York customers?

There are 3 community solar developers offering 17 active projects for National Grid New York customers.

National Grid New York community solar vs. rooftop solar

Which option is right for you?
Here are some of the main differences to keep in mind as you’re deciding between community and rooftop solar:

Community solar Rooftop solar
Cost No upfront cost Does have an upfront cost; $0-down financing available
Savings Lower savings Maximum long-term savings
Accessibility Available to renters & property owners Only available to property owners
Maintenance No maintenance required Maintenance may be required and is the responsibility of the system owner
Incentives Not eligible for most solar incentives Eligible for state and federal solar incentives (e.g. the federal tax credit)
Property value benefits Has no impact on property value Increases property value

Common myths about community solar debunked

There are plenty of misconceptions out there about community solar, but luckily we’re here to help clarify. Here are some of the truths about community solar:

Community solar isn’t expensive

Back in the day, community solar often cost more than what you’d otherwise pay your utility – so it’s understandable if you still think that’s the case. However, it’s the opposite! By signing up for community solar, you’ll actually save money on an annual basis.

Community solar and green power aren’t the same thing

Ever received a letter in the mail urging you to sign up for a clean electricity plan? Or had someone knock on your door asking you to sign up for a green power plan? Community solar is not the same thing! Here’s a breakdown of how community solar compares to other electricity options:

Community solar Community choice aggregation Green power Standard utility offering
Generates savings Typically yes Sometimes Typically no No
Supports local renewable energy development Yes Sometimes Typically no No
Has consolidating billing Typically no Typically yes Sometimes Yes
Do you get renewable energy certificates (RECs) Typically no Typically yes Yes No

To learn more about these electricity plans, check out this article.

Many solar farms are environmentally friendly

Community solar can take up a lot of space, so it’s easy to be confused about how it’s environmentally friendly – don’t these projects clear trees? While some solar farms will require the cutting of trees, many don’t! In fact, a lot of community solar projects are built on otherwise unusable land like landfills or brownfield sites. Some states even provide financial incentives to developers who choose to build projects on these sites. And overall, even if some trees need to be cleared for a community solar project to be developed, the net environmental benefit is still worth it in most cases.

You don’t need to sign a long-term contract

Many people think that signing up for community solar means a long-term commitment – and we understand why! In the past, community solar subscriptions were often structured similarly to power purchase agreements in which you’re locked in for 20 or even 25 years. However, today, community solar subscriptions are much more flexible. Most companies don’t require a long-term agreement and you can cancel your subscription for free.

How to sign up for community solar

Signing up for community solar is extremely simple – especially when you do so through the EnergySage Community Solar Marketplace! Here’s a list of the steps you’ll need to take through our Marketplace in order to sign up:

  1. Enter your zip code to see a list of open community solar projects near you.
  2. Click on “Project Details” to learn more about individual projects, such as cancellation policies, billing info, environmental impact, location, and more.
  3. When you’re ready to select a project, click “Get Started.” This will take you to a page where you can fill out the necessary subscription information, including your name, address, and utility account number.
  4. Next, you’ll finalize your subscription with your developer, and they will follow up directly to confirm your contract and subscription amount.
  5. Finally, about a month or two after the project has launched (the launch date will be visible on the Project Details page), you’ll receive a separate bill for your community energy credits!