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MC Squared: CUB’s evaluation of a new community solar offer

This post is an evaluation of Chicago based MC Squared Energy Services (MC 2) community solar offering. (If you are not already familiar with community solar, we recommend reading our Introduction to Community Solar first.)

How will signing up for the MC Squared community solar offer affect my electric bill?

MC Squared will look at your energy usage history to determine your subscription size, measured in kilowatts (kW). Each month your subscription will produce solar energy, measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh).

Once the community solar project you are assigned to is completed, your monthly electric bill will be reduced by the community solar bill credits. You will also pay a second monthly bill to MC Squared.

Even though you are now receiving two bills, you will still save money overall. On your utility bill you will see a credit for your community solar subscription. MC 2 will bill you for the energy generated by your subscription, with a 20% discount applied. That’s where the savings come in. The total amount you save monthly will vary as the solar production of your subscription varies.

What about alternative suppliers?

If you are currently enrolled with an alternative supplier, this could jeopardize your community solar savings. CUB has heard that some alternative suppliers will not credit you for your community solar subscription at the same rate as you are being charged for electricity. Be sure to cancel with your supplier when you sign up for community solar.

What does CUB think of this offer?

Community solar allows more Illinois consumers to support renewable energy, and CUB is pleased to see more offers hit the market. From reviewing the terms of MC 2 ’s offer, we did not see any red flags. Still, we recommend comparing multiple offers and understanding all the terms before signing up for community solar. Always read your contract thoroughly.

This chart summarizes key points about MC Squared’s deal:

Does the company offer savings? Yes. MC Squared offers 20% off the utility default supply rate for the community solar bill credits you receive.
Is there a credit check when I sign up? No.
What is the contract term? 2 years initially. At the end of each 2 year period you will have the option to extend the contract by another 2 years.
Is there an “exit fee” for leaving the contract early? No. There is no exit fee.
What are my billing options? MC Squared only accepts automatic credit or debit payments.
Bonuses available as of 10/23/2020 $20 Amazon gift card when you sign up for the waitlist

When will my subscription go live? When will I start to see credits on my utility bill?

This depends on when the community solar garden you are assigned to is completed. The Community Solar Standard Disclosure Form you receive from MC Squared includes the month they expect your subscription to go live in the “Subscription Specifications” section. Once you sign up you can also check your customer portal for updates on your project.

What happens if I move?

If you move within your current utility territory you can take your community solar subscription with you. If you move outside of the utility territory, you can assign your subscription to someone else. (That person must first properly enroll in the community solar program, including reviewing all of the applicable IPA Disclosure forms.) You also can cancel with no penalty by providing proof of your move. If you are moving you must give MC Squared 30 days’ written notice. During that period the community solar provider will still bill you for the solar produced, and you will still receive bill credits if your account is still active.

How do I sign up?

To enroll in MC Squared’s community solar program, visit MC Squared’s website. CUB recommends comparing multiple offers before signing up. See all offers available to you at Solar in the Community.

Have you signed up for a community solar program?  Let us know about your experience!