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Sunscription (US Solar): CUB’s evaluation of a new community solar offer

This is an evaluation of Sunscription’s (US Solar) 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 this community solar offer affect my electric bill?

Sunscription 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 your subscription produces. You will also pay a second monthly bill to Sunscription. 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. Sunscription will bill you for the energy generated by your subscription, with a 17% or 20% discount applied, depending on the billing option you select. 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?

All customers, regardless of their alternative electricity supplier, can now receive solar bill credits as part of a community solar program. Click here to learn more about alternative suppliers for consumers in ComEd territory and Ameren territory.

What does CUB think about this offer?

Community solar allows more Illinois consumers to support renewable energy, and CUB is pleased to see more offers hit the market.

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 the Sunscription deal:

What utility territory does the company serve? Ameren and ComEd.
Does the company offer savings? Yes. Sunscription offers 17% or 20% off the utility default supply rate for the community solar bill credits you receive, depending on the billing option you select.
Is there a credit check when I sign up? None
What is the contract term? 20 years. However, you may end the contract at any time. Sunscription requires 90 days’ notice of cancellation.
Is there an “exit fee” for leaving the contract early? None. Sunscription requires 90 days’ notice of cancellation.
What are my billing options? Sunscription only offers automatic payments. Customers who select ACH payments will save 20% on the energy generated by their subscriptions, while customers on automatic debit or credit card payments will save 17%.

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 to which you are assigned is completed. Sunscription says that most new subscribers will begin earning solar credits in the next 3-6 months, or sooner if there is availability in operating solar gardens. The Community Solar Standard Disclosure Form you receive from Sunscription/US Solar 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 Sunscription 90 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.

Can I sign up for this offer and a real-time pricing program?

Yes, you can participate in Sunscription’s community solar program alongside ComEd’s Hourly Pricing program or Ameren’s Power Smart Pricing plan.

How do I sign up?

To enroll in Sunscription’s community solar program, visit www.sunscription.com/programs/illinois. CUB recommends comparing multiple offers before signing up. See all offers available to you at www.SolarintheCommunity.com.

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