Community Solar FAQ

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Program Overview


Costs


Usage


Eligibility


Program Overview

What is a Community Solar Program?
A Community Solar Program allows customers to draw solar power form a large centrally located solar-electric system that benefits multiple subscribers. This voluntary program allows customers to reap the benefits of solar energy without the upfront costs, maintenance costs, or hassles of installing a solar array on their home or business.

 

What are the benefits of participating in a Community Solar Program?
A Community Solar Program allows you to power your home with solar energy without installing your own panels. Community Solar is attractive to renters or condominium owners who don't have the option to install panels.

 

What exactly am I purchasing? Will there be additional costs?

You are not purchasing physical equipment, but rather receiving a portion of solar energy produced by an existing utility-scale array at OUC’s Stanton Energy Center. You will receive your subscribed amount of solar energy as a percentage of your usage. You only pay a solar rate (in lieu of the fuel rate you would normally pay) to participate - no maintenance fees or installation costs.

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How much community solar capacity is available?
OUC currently has the capacity to produce 13 MW of solar energy.

 

How does the power I subscribe to get to my house?
The power provided by a Community Solar Farm is not directly fed into your individual household, but rather goes straight into OUC’s electric grid.

 

What if the solar farm is damaged by weather or can’t produce at its max capacity? OUC’s diverse fuel options ensure power production is never interrupted. If the solar farm were to become unable to produce energy, your home will not be affected.

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How much solar energy am I allowed to use?
You can subscribe for all or a portion of their monthly electric bill to be powered by solar energy. You can opt for a percentage of their electric usage in 10 percent increments at a fixed solar rate of .06 per kWh in lieu of the normal fuel charge portion of their bill. The minimum subscription required to enroll is 10 percent. 

Below is an example of how a Community Solar charge will appear on your bill. Billing amounts are based on a customer using 1,200 kWh and electing 20 percent of his/her energy to come from solar.

 










How can I calculate the percentage necessary to offset my monthly consumption usage and the associated cost?
You can use our Solar Calculator to quickly estimate the percentage of solar energy from the community solar farm that works best for you.

 

How can I sign up?
You can subscribe by calling our Customer Service Department at 407-423-9018, or by visiting ouc.com/communitysolar. To subscribe, you must have received at least one monthly bill in 2018.

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Costs

Will I pay more for community solar?
The cost for solar will be billed as a solar rate in lieu of a traditional fuel rate on your bill. The solar rate is slightly higher. For current rates, visit ouc.com/communitysolar.

 

Is there a cost to sign up?
No. One of the benefits of the Community Solar Program is that there are no initial costs, regardless of what percentage you subscribe to.

 

What if the Community Solar Program is fully subscribed?
Once the project is fully subscribed, interested customers will be placed on a waiting list and contacted when additional space becomes available.

 

What if I sign up for this program and sell my house or move out?
Moving will not affect your participation in the Community Solar Program as long as you remain within OUC’s electric service territory. Your subscription can move to your new property or rental with you. If you close your account and do not move within OUC’s electric service area, you will end your service with OUC, including your participation in the Community Solar Program.

 

How does the solar rate compare with my current OUC rate?
Currently, the solar rate is $0.06 per kWh, which is slightly higher than our fuel rate.

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Usage

What happens if I don’t subscribe to a large enough percentage to cover all of my energy needs?
The percentage of your energy not supplied by solar power will be supplemented with traditional energy options from our diverse fuel portfolio.

 

Is the solar kWh purchase in addition to my normal electric cost?
A solar subscription will incur a solar rate in lieu of the fuel rate for the percentage you subscribe to.  For example, if you subscribe at 40 percent, then 40 percent of your electric consumption will incur a solar rate in lieu of the fuel rate, and the remaining 60 percent of your electric consumption will incur the traditional fuel rate.

 

What if I want to invest in more solar later on? Can you change the percentage that you initially subscribed to?
As long as the Community Solar Program is not full, you may increase your percentage. This program is popular, so we encourage you to subscribe to the right amount of solar initially. If the program is full, your name will be added to a waiting list and you will be notified when capacity becomes available. You can only change your percentage in June and January, after subscribing for at least 6 months.

If I choose to unsubscribe from the Community Solar Program, can I rejoin?
You can cancel your subscription at any time; however, if you want rejoin, you’ll need to wait at least 6 months.

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Eligibility

What are the eligibility requirements for participation?
No. The Community Solar Program is available only to OUC electric or General Service Demand (GSD) customers.

 

What are the eligibility requirements for participation?
You must be an OUC residential or commercial electric customer to subscribe. Those who are currently participating in OUC’s solar PV program, OUC Power Pass, or Budget Billing are not eligible.

 

Can I sign up for the program if I live in an apartment or condo?
Yes. We accept renters, condo owners, and homeowners. It is easy to take your subscription with you wherever you move, as long as you are within OUC’s electric service territory.

 

What kind of paperwork is required for participation?
You may either call our Customer Service Department at 407-423-9018, or submit a simple application available at ouc.com/communitysolar.

 

For additional questions not included in the FAQ, please contact OUC’s Conservation & Renewables Department at green@ouc.com or 407-434-2263.

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