New York towns launch a community solar program, but with a twist


The New York State villages of Brockport and Lima are set to begin new community solar opt-out programs. That’s right: opt out.

The pilot was developed by Joule Community Power and is similar to a traditional community solar pilot, but with that one twist. As designed, the municipality signs up the entire population, leveraging the collective buying power at a scale large enough to secure better terms through a single competitive bidding process with solar providers.

Unlike a traditional opt-in program, homeowners are automatically enrolled in the program, with any credits or charges accounted for in their monthly National Grid electricity bill.

What’s more, under this pilot program homeowners who want to take part do not have to undergo a soft credit check, sign a contract with a community distributed generation, or pay separately for the solar credits.

The opt-out community solar program will initially be rolled out to 3,800+ households; those households will be a part of the program for at least 25 years.

Residents are free to opt out at any time and for any reason, with no penalty. Once out, however, they lose the guaranteed 10% price reduction offered through the community solar program.

“Implementing community choice aggregation has been a goal that the Village of Lima has been working on for four years,” stated Lima Mayor John Wadach. “Thanks to the support and expertise of Joule and its local partner Roctricity, we are excited to bring renewable energy at a cost savings to our residents.”

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