This is an evaluation of IGS Energy’s community solar offering. (If you are not already familiar with community solar, we recommend reading our Introduction to Community Solar factsheet first.)
How will signing up for the IGS Energy community solar offer affect my electric bill?
IGS Energy 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 IGS Energy.
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. IGS Energy will bill you for the energy generated by your subscription, with a 10% 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. Based on your billing cadence, you may see a delay of 1-2 billing cycles before your credits are automatically applied to your electric bill.
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. Consider canceling the plan with your supplier before you sign up for community solar.
In addition to offering community solar, IGS Energy is also an alternative electric and gas supplier. Be cautious when looking at the website, as CUB still recommends sticking with your utility rather than signing up for an alternative supplier.
Community Power Deals— While community solar is a good deal for most consumers, you should always do the math. In the current market, community solar may not be the best deal if you are on a municipal aggregation deal (also called a community power deal) that has a lower price than the utility rate. Municipal aggregation deals involve community leaders negotiating an electricity price with an alternative supplier. If your community has a community power deal and you have questions about community solar, please contact Marina Minic at CUB, [email protected].
What does CUB think about this offer?
Community solar allows more Illinois consumers to enjoy the benefits of renewable energy, and CUB is pleased to see these offers hit the market. However, we think that IGS Energy being an alternative gas and electric supplier may confuse consumers.
IGS Energy does most of their outreach with door-to-door representatives. CUB always cautions consumers to be careful who they show their electric bill to. Never feel pressured to sign up for a program that you are not excited about. If you are solicited, take the time to learn about what IGS is offering, before handing over personal information.
Additionally, IGS promises 10% savings over your utility’s energy supply price, but other community solar companies are offering 20% savings. Visit Solar in the Community to see CUB’s analysis of other deals available in Illinois.
This chart summarizes key points about the IGS Energy deal:
|What utility territory does the company serve?||Ameren and ComEd.|
|How can I sign up?||IGS Energy is currently doing door-to-door sign-ups only. They are working to develop sign-ups over the phone, and CUB will update the blog when that option becomes available.|
|Does the company offer savings?||Yes. IGS Energy offers 10% 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?||20 years.|
|Is there an “exit fee” for leaving the contract early?||No.|
|What are my billing options?||Dual billing, autopay required.|
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. When working with an IGS sales representative to sign up, you can ask what the estimated wait time will look like and the representative should give you an estimate.
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 either cancel with no penalty or 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.)
Can I sign up for IGS Energy’s offer and a real-time pricing program?
If you are enrolled in IGS Energy’s community solar program, you can also participate in Hourly Pricing with ComEd and Power Smart Pricing with Ameren.
How do I sign up?
IGS Energy is currently doing door-to-door sign-ups only. They are working to develop sign-ups over the phone, and CUB will update the blog when that option becomes available. To learn more about IGS Energy’s community solar program, visit IGS Energy’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!