News & Updates
Maryland Community Solar: 5 Things to Know
Ampion Renewable Energy
May 23, 2022
At Ampion, we believe that you deserve to know your energy options and that you have the ability to choose to support cleaner sources of energy. This includes Community Solar, which is now available to Maryland residents and businesses! Community Solar is a state-backed program that enables homeowners, renters, businesses – anyone who pays an electric bill – the opportunity to support clean, renewable energy produced locally in Maryland and D.C.
PEPCO and BG&E customers who opt in to Community Solar subscriptions are assigned a share of clean energy produced by local solar projects; the size of the shares depends on their monthly electricity usage. Community Solar is truly the easiest way to support clean energy in Maryland. Here are 5 things you can expect when you enroll in a Maryland Community Solar project.
There are no installation costs and no costs to join
You read that right! The biggest and often most surprising difference between rooftop solar and Community Solar is that you will not pay for any solar panel installations or maintenance– there is no cost to join. To incentivize participation in the clean energy transition, Maryland passed Community Solar legislation in 2017 to make it easier for residents and businesses to choose clean energy and ultimately meet its goal of reaching 100% renewable energy by 2040.
You'll know where your energy comes from
You may have heard of other clean power options available to Maryland residents that claim to save you money. When you sign up for energy from these entities, known as retail energy companies, you won’t know where the energy is being sourced – or, often, what kind of energy you’re supporting (i.e. wind, solar, hydro, etc.). You may know that the energy you’re paying for is renewable, but you could be paying for energy produced in another state.
So, what makes Community Solar a better option? Michael Rosenblum and Julian Goresko, professors of public health and environmental studies at Johns Hopkins University (respectively), explained it best in an article in The Baltimore Sun: “Unlike other green power options on the marketplace — which can be unclear or sometimes misleading — community solar is one of few opportunities where customers know exactly where their renewable energy is being sourced.”
With Ampion, you’ll know the name of the Community Solar farm you’re subscribed to as soon as you’re assigned.
You're billed for the solar energy at a fixed 10% discount
Due to state initiatives and the fact that the energy is locally-sourced, subscribers in Maryland can save up to 10% on their annual electricity spend – and we could all use an energy discount right about now.
Marylanders who subscribe to Community Solar projects are billed for the energy produced by their share of the solar project. This typically offsets or nearly offsets what they owe to PEPCO or BG&E. Maryland’s Community Solar program doesn’t discount based on kilowatt-hour (kWh) rate; instead, Marylanders who subscribe to Community Solar receive a fixed 10% discount on the total amount of Community Solar credits they pay for.
You'll receive your electricity as normal, no matter the season
One of the most common questions we hear has to do with the seasons and how it impacts your home or business’ electricity. When you subscribe to Community Solar, you’ll receive your electricity like you always have. Only now, you are contributing your home or business’ share of electricity to the grid so that your community can benefit. Community Solar helps to diversify the grid with local clean energy and pave the way for more renewable energy generation due to your support for it. You’ll also get to keep your utility!
It’s true that seasonality has an impact on how much energy solar panels generate. In the summer months, the solar farm’s energy production is naturally going to be higher than winter. However, most Community Solar companies, including Ampion, distribute the solar credits you’re billed for over the course of the year. In this way, you avoid overpaying for your energy in the summer.
Free cancelation (with notice)
With Community Solar, there is no cost to join or leave. Unless you’re moving states or utility territories, we’re not sure why you would want to opt out of Community Solar. However, you can have peace of mind knowing that you can cancel for free at any time. We just ask that you give us a few months’ notice so that we can replace your allocation.
“The process and environmental benefits are straightforward,” according to The Baltimore Sun. “Instead of paying a cost premium for green power, you will receive financial savings and can take pride in knowing exactly where your renewable power comes from.”
To learn more about how you can access Community Solar and save,visit ampion.net/maryland.