When you pay part of your utility bill, this is referred to as a “partial payment.” This document explains how partial payments impact community solar participants.
What charges and credits will appear on my bill?
There are several different charges that appear on your utility bill every month:
- Utility charges based on energy use
- Utility taxes and fees
- Community solar subscription fees
And several possible sources of credits on your bill:
- Payments you make to your utility
- Energy assistance payments (if applicable)
- Community solar bill credits (solar energy produced)
Community solar works like this: Your project manager provides solar energy to your utility, which appears as bill credits on your monthly utility bill. In turn, subscription fees are added to your bill and received by your utility, then passed on to the project manager for you. For low-income customers, bill credits will always be more than subscription fees, resulting in a net savings each month. However, bill credits will not pay an entire utility bill.
When I make a partial payment, who gets the money?
If you partially pay your utility bill, the utility is paid before your community solar project manager. See an example of how this works below.
Why does it matter?
In the case of partial payment, the outstanding utility and subscription fees will be added to the next month’s bill. Additionally, some project managers may send a separate bill or may terminate your subscription if they do not receive payment in any given month.
Actions you can take:
Partial payments happen. Read your contract carefully before signing, and we encourage you to reach out to your project manager early on. You can choose to terminate your subscription if the program is not for you right now; many projects—but not all—do not charge a fee for terminations. Please refer to your contract terms to check if a fee may be incurred. If your contract is terminated, you may re-enroll in the program at a later date.