Community Solar Explained

Introduced to New York State in 2016, community solar is the solution that provides all New Yorkers with access to clean, local, affordable solar energy.

This is how it works. We build a community solar farm where we produce solar power. People, businesses and even municipalities join our community solar farm as subscribers.

The energy produced by our community solar farm is divided among its subscribers as solar credits. Each month, each subscriber’s solar credits replace traditionally-generated electricity on their electric bill and they pay a discounted rate on this solar energy.

Subscribers continue to receive electricity and an electric bill from their electric service provider, such as NYSEG or RG&E. But now, a portion of that electricity is locally generated using methods that do not harm the land or the environment. 

How Community Solar Works

The Program

Introduced to New York State in 2016, Community Solar provides all New Yorkers access to clean solar energy.

  • Open to any customer with an electric utility account, including apartments and renters.
  • Great for those who cannot or prefer not to install panels on their own property.

The Subscription

Customers enroll their electric utility accounts for a % of the Solar Bill Credit value produced by the solar farm each month.

  • Guaranteed savings
  • No fees to join or cancel
  • Cancel anytime with 60 days notice

The Solar Farm

DRS builds a Community Solar farm that sends energy to the utility grid. People, businesses, and municipalities join our community solar farm as subscribers.

  • Local solar farms are built on 10-20 acres of open land.
  • An average 5 MW solar farm can serve 1,000 single family homes.
  • No equipment on your roof or property.

The Savings

The utility applies your share of the energy produced to your utility bill in the form of Solar Bill Credits, which reduce what you owe the utility.

  • Subscribers retain 5%-10% of the Solar Bill Credit value.
  • Guaranteed monetary savings each month.
  • CO2 emmissions savings from local renewable energy.

Solar Bill Credits are Applied to Your Utility Bill

The sample bill is a NYSEG / RGE bill that shows the Solar Bill Credits in the ‘Miscellaneous Charges’ section on the bottom of the bill.

There are 2 new, relevant line items:

‘CDG Value Stack Credit’

  • Total value of solar energy applied to your bill.

‘CDG Subscription Fee’

  • This is what the utility pays DRS directly for its share of the Solar Bill Credits.

The difference between the ‘CDG Value Stack Credit’ and the ‘CDG Subscription Fee’ is your net savings.