Membership & Billing
What is the relationship between the solar farm, the utility, and Ampion?
A solar farm is a privately owned business established for the purpose of capturing energy from the sun and converting it to electricity. The electricity is then distributed via the utility grid. People can subscribe to a solar farm and receive a credit on their electricity bills for their share of the energy produced. Ampion acts as a broker for the solar farms, enrolling new subscribers and providing customer service.
How is the electricity from the solar farm measured?
Electricity is measured in Watts. Because solar farms are producing large amounts of electricity, it is typically measured in megawatts (MW). The output of a solar farm is measured and tracked by the utility company.
- 1,000 watts equals a kilowatt (kW)
- 1,000 kilowatts equals a megawatt (MW)
How long does it take to build a solar farm?
Construction of a solar farm takes about 16 weeks. However, finding a viable site, funding the project and acquiring all the permits necessary to start construction is the real challenge. That process can take anywhere from six months to over a year, depending on the permitting process and coordination with the utility.
Where are the solar farms located? Is there one near me?
Solar farms are usually located in suburban and rural areas. Solar farms can also make use of abandoned industrial properties, bringing new activity back to the local economy.
Who can join a solar farm?
The short answer is almost anyone! So long as you have an active utility account, you’re eligible. There’s no special equipment to buy or install. Don’t own your property? No problem. Homeowners, renters, places of worship, and small businesses can all support clean energy and benefit from cheap solar power.
Has anyone else in my community joined the solar farm I’ve been matched with?
People are joining all the time, so probably, yes. However, out of respect for our customers’ privacy, we can’t actually answer this question. We suggest that you ask your neighbors about it.
Can I enroll in a solar farm before it goes live?
Yes. Subscribing to a solar farm while it is being developed is a way to reserve capacity for yourself. This commits the solar farm to meet your energy needs once it goes live. You won’t be charged a subscription fee during the construction phase. Neither will you receive any credits on your bill.
How do I know that the solar farm is producing energy?
You will have access to a software portal that will allow you to view the solar production, monetary savings, and environmental impact that’s possible with your support of our program.
Will my electric company change?
No. Your current utility will still service your account and deliver energy to your home or business. Any energy consumption that isn’t covered by your energy credits will be paid to the utility at their price.
What does it cost, & how much money will I save?
There is no cost to join our community solar program. You will receive a monthly invoice for the energy credits, produced by your solar farm and applied to your utility bill, at a discounted rate.
What happens if I move?
If you are moving to a residence that is still in the area of eligibility, you can take your subscription with you! As long as you reside in the same utility service territory, you can continue to be a part of your project.
Where can I sign up?
Who can participate?
Because no roof is required to participate, nearly anyone can join. Homeowners, renters, places of worship, and small businesses can all support clean energy and benefit from cheap solar power.
My energy is provided by a third-party supplier. Can I still join?
In most cases, yes. However, if you receive a bill for your third-party supplier that is separate from your utility bill, credits can only be applied to your utility bill. If your electricity charges appear in a consolidated bill, your credits can be used to offset the entire bill.
How can I keep track of my Community Solar bills?
In addition to showing you real-time information about the solar array you belong to, our software will also provide online records of your current and past bills.
How am I matched up with a solar farm?
When you provide us with your utility bill, we review your past year of electricity usage so we know how much energy you need. Then we identify your service area and search for local solar farms that have the capacity available to meet your needs. In most cases, that’s it. A match is made and you’re offered a subscription to that solar farm.
How does Ampion know how large a share of the solar farm I need?
Referencing your utility bill, we can determine how much electricity you’ll need each month. We then find a solar farm that has matching capacity. Your allocation is the portion of the solar farm’s energy that is dedicated to meeting your needs. The goal is to make sure that the amount of bill credits you receive on your bill matches your annual electricity costs.
What is the sign-up process?
Enter your zip code to learn if our service is available in your area. If you live in an eligible area, we’ll direct you to a sign-up page where you can get started. The specific steps vary with each utility but the basics are pretty simple.
- Enter your zip code
- Upload a utility statement to calculate the amount of credits needed to offset your electricity usage as well as validate that your account is eligible for the program
- Complete the DocuSign form.
- Enter payment information. You can pay with a credit card or link to your bank account.
Membership & Billing
How is my allocation determined?
Referencing your utility bill, we can determine how much electricity you’ll need each month. We then find a solar farm that has matching capacity. Your allocation is the portion of the solar farm's energy that is dedicated to meeting your needs. The goal is to make sure that the amount of bill credits you receive on your bill matches your annual electricity costs.
How are credits acquired?
Your allotment provides you with a percentage of the total output of the solar farm.
How are credits applied? To the entire bill or just the supply portion?
The credits from your solar farm allotment are automatically applied to your monthly utility bill, reducing the total amount due. Bill credits offset all electricity costs: supply and delivery.
If you use more electricity than was generated on your behalf, the utility will invoice you for the difference. Use less electricity than your allotment generated and you will not owe the utility any money that month. Any remaining credits will be banked for future use.
In New England, our seasons have an impact on solar energy production. In the summer months, with longer and sunnier days, solar farms produce more electricity. In the winter, solar farms tend to produce less. Over the course of a year, you can expect your solar farm to produce more electricity than your household can use.
How do I find my credits on the utility bill?
This question comes up A LOT. Utility bills are notoriously hard to read, and each utility designs its bill differently using different terms to identify the credits:
- ConEd: Adjustments
- RG&E: CDG Value Stack Credit
- Eversource: Net Metering Credit
- NGrid: Net Metering Credit
How do I know how many credits I have?
There are a couple of places where you can check on the number of credits in your account. The easiest way is to log into your Ampion account. There you will see a summary of how much electricity the solar farm has produced, your monetary savings, and the environmental impact of your account.
- Our portal will also provide you with online records of your current and past bills.
- Your monthly invoice from Ampion will include a summary of the previous month’s credits.
- Additionally, your credits appear on your monthly utility bill.
Do unused credits expire or rollover?
Unused credits will be banked in your account and automatically applied to months where you’ve used more electricity than was generated on your behalf.
After I join, how long will it be before I see credits on my bill?
We will notify you once your account is fully activated and let you know how quickly you can expect to see credits on your utility bill.
What does the program cost?
While there is no cost to join the program, you are required to pay for the bill credits applied to your electric bill. Discounts vary by state, but in most cases you will pay less than the face value of the credits, often 10-15% less. Learn more about Community Solar in your state.
Can I opt-out of the program?
Yes. You can cancel your subscription at any time.