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Enrolling in Community Solar: Your Top Questions Answered

Enrolling in Community Solar: Your Top Questions Answered

Diving into the world of community solar can seem a bit like stepping into unknown territory, right? You’ve got questions about who can get in on it, how the whole signup thing works, and what’s the deal with energy savings. Don’t stress—we’re going to walk through it together, nice and easy, so you can feel confident about jumping into community solar. Let's get you all set up and ready to go!

Starting your adventure into community solar might look a bit overwhelming at first, with all sorts of queries about who can join, how to sign up, and what kind of savings to expect. But worry not—we're here to clear things up and guide you smoothly into the world of community solar, making sure you have all the info you need to get started.

Who Can Sign Up for Community Solar?

First things first: not everyone is eligible for community solar—there are a few boxes to tick. Your eligibility largely depends on whether community solar projects are available in your state and, more specifically, within your local utility's service area. With over 19 states plus D.C. embracing community solar, the odds are increasingly in your favor, although availability can vary.

The good news: anyone who pays an electricity bill in a state with a legislative-backed community solar program can sign up for community solar.

Is the Signup Process Complicated?

It is very easy to subscribe to a community solar program and will only take a few minutes of your time. There are no extra costs or setup fees to join. You will need to create an account on the Nautilus Solar Energy® (Nautilus) enrollment portal by entering your email address and creating a password. Creating an account is NOT an obligation to enroll with Nautilus. We ask you to create an account so that we can keep your personal information secure and so you can save it and come back later if you need to. We will only use your email to contact you about your enrollment.

Once an account is created, you can officially enroll. You will be asked to enter basic information like your name and address, your utility account number, and about a year of your electricity usage information. Tip: Have this information on hand before you start.

Keep in mind that when you sign up for community solar, you won't immediately see credits on your bill. It often takes at least a few months for your provider and your utility company to set up your subscription. You'll only pay once you receive bill credits on your monthly utility bill.

Why Is My Utility Information Important?

To participate in community solar, adding your utility information is crucial for two reasons. First, this allows your utility company to continue delivering electricity to your home while making sure the billing process with your community solar provider like Nautilus goes as smoothly as possible. This process ensures you automatically receive solar credits for your share of the solar energy produced. Secondly, Nautilus will use your energy usage history to determine your allocation (or share) of a community solar farm. This is measured in kilowatts (kW). Each month your subscription will produce solar energy, measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). Both kW and kWh usage will be listed on your monthly statement. Rest assured, your utility account information is safely stored, encrypted, and will not be shared.

Why Do I Need to Include Payment Information? Is it Secure?

When enrolling, you will be asked to submit payment information to automate the billing process. You will have a choice to pay directly from your bank account or use a credit or debit card for monthly payments. This information is encrypted, stored security, and is only used to pay your bill once you start using the solar energy. We send you an email alert before each bill to remind you that we’ll be using your bank account or credit card.

Can I Cancel My Subscription Easily?

With Nautilus community solar, there is no long-term commitment. If you move or decide you don't want to participate any longer, you can cancel without a penalty or exit fees. You will need to notify Nautilus of your cancellation a few months (typically 90 or 180 days) in advance, so they have time to cancel your subscription with your utility company.

Is a Credit Check Required?

Nautilus does a soft credit check to verify you’re a real person, but there’s no credit qualification to enroll with Nautilus community solar.

When Will I Start Seeing Savings?

Expect to see the financial benefits, such as bill credits and your discount, within 1-3 months after the solar farm goes operational and your subscription has been processed. The exact timeline can vary, depending on the speed at which your utility and the provider finalize the billing arrangements. Your bills may be consolidated (one-bill) or two separate bills, depending on your location. Consolidated billing can make it easier to track your bill credits and utility consumption.

What Happens If I Move?

Moving doesn't mean you have to give up your community solar benefits. You can transfer your subscription to your new residence, as long as it's within the same utility service area, ensuring a seamless transition to continuing your support for renewable energy.

After exploring community solar a bit more, it’s easy to see how it’s both accessible and a savvy choice for anyone aiming to live a bit greener. Whether it’s the environmental benefits or the savings on energy costs that catch your eye, community solar offers a compelling option.

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