What Does it Mean to Be a Bullrock Solar Customer?
Being a Bullrock Solar customer (an off-taker) is merely about saying “yes to solar”, while enjoying the same dependable electricity each customer now receives from the traditional electric utility. The only social difference is that the Bullrock Solar customer agrees to be one of the many customers who offset (be the demand for) the electricity (electrons) flowing into the local and regional electricity grid from local solar farms. The customer still pays one electricity bill, and Bullrock Solar issues credits on the customer’s bill, as a function of how much solar production from the local solar farm there is in any given month of the year. It’s completely free to sign-up to be a Bullrock Solar customer, and there are no panels on the customer’s property. At the light switch, the toaster oven, or the computer, the customer enjoys the same electricity all year.
How does the program work?
The bill credits Bullrock Solar customers receive average about 10% of the value (in dollars) Kilowatt-hour electricity costs over the course of each solar production and billing period. You can also elect to have these bill credits go to your favorite charity instead. Over each twelve-month solar electricity production and billing period, the monthly credits depend on the solar electricity production at our local solar farms. As the dollars of bill credits in any month depend on the solar production, there may be some months where your bill reflects larger credits and other months where your bill reflects less dollars of credits. Either way, under no circumstances does the Bullrock Solar customer pay more for electricity that what you would have paid per Kilowatt-hour of electricity than what you currently pay for electricity from coal, oil, gas, nuclear, or any of the other electricity generating sources of traditional utilities.
What’s an Off-Taker? Answer: A customer.
An Off-Taker is another term for “solar customer”. The Bullrock Solar customer (off-taker) is effectively saying, “Why not?” You go solar at no cost, and you’re supporting the community and the environment.” The solar customer enjoys the same electric service, through the same residential electricity lines. The local solar farms convert the sun’s energy into electricity, which flows into the larger regional grid, and then to the customer. The only difference is the Bullrock Solar customers (the off-taker) agrees to represent the customer demand for the solar farms’ electricity production.
What’s in it for me?
By signing-up for free as an off-taker, you receive bill credits that reduce your total annual electricity bills at no cost. As a Bullrock Solar customer you get to seamlessly go green without the solar on your property, and it’s a great thing to do for the community. As an off-taker (a customer) you continue paying electric bills as always. You enjoy the same reliable electric service, and you don’t pay more than you currently do for the electricity from any other electric generation source, including coal, nuclear, gas, hydro, or otherwise. It’s a win-win-win for me at no-cost and no inconvenience.
What’s in it for the environment?
Every New York off-taker who signs up for free to be a Bullrock Community Solar Off-Taker, helps NY reduce dependency on fossil and nuclear fuel sources of electric power generation. Bullrock also does not build solar plants on designated wetlands, and has extensive experience ensuring the solar facilities have a relatively minimal impact on our environment.
Do any others in my community benefit from Community Solar?
Yes! Besides you and all the other community solar supporters receiving incentives for going solar (in the form of bill credits) on electricity bills, many others benefit from this program:
There is new work for those who help build and maintain local solar farms. Local businesses derive sales revenue from our team members working on the local farms. Landowners earn revenue when their farms host solar farms. Upstate residents enjoy improvements in air and water quality, as a result of reduced dependency on fossil and other traditional electricity generation.
Why Community Solar?
Bullrock Community Solar offers all the societal benefits of going solar without any additional cost to the off-taker (customer) or use of space for the solar on the off-taker’s property. Accordingly, a much wider range of New Yorkers can take advantage of community solar benefits, and the benefits are distributed more broadly to the local community in the form of: community-based electricity production at no additional cost, jobs, local business revenue, land-owner leasing revenue, environmental quality, and other community benefits.
Who is Bullrock Solar?
Bullrock is a solar company that builds and operates community solar plants on selected local farms in New York (in Caitlin and Brunswick, for example, so far). Bullrock Solar offers incentives to off-takers (customers) who participate in the Bullrock Community Solar program. Customers can also elect to direct the financial incentives to their local charities.
Thanks to New York State incentives, Federal tax incentives, and other Federal Law, well-managed solar companies, like Bullrock Solar, can make money producing and selling electricity from solar farms in Upstate New York, and such companies share the incentives with their customers. There are sufficient incentives for companies like Bullrock Solar to be able to share the financial benefits, in the form of bill credits or charitable contributions. Thanks to the incentives from Albany in particular, Bullrock Solar can offer customers to sign-up for free, and pay no more for being a community solar farm customer than one pays to receive electric service from utilities generating electric power from traditional generating facilities (coal, nuclear, gas, etc.).
I’ve always had the impression solar is more expensive. How is it that I can be a Bullrock Solar Off-Taker for free?
Solar companies must have off-takers (residential and/or commercial electricity customers) to “off-set” the amount of power production the community solar farms produce. To reward off-takers, Bullrock offers customers bill credits (discounts) on your electricity bills, just for being a Bullrock solar off-taker.
I still don’t understand how I avoid having solar panels on my roof or on my property and I still get the discounts (Bill Credits) on my electricity bills?
Bullrock builds and operates the community solar farm. Thanks to NY incentives from Albany and other financial incentives, Bullrock can offer its solar customers an opportunity to sign-up as solar off-takers (customers) at no-cost. Yes, you don’t have panels on your property, and you still pay a monthly utility bill that is no more than the cost you would have paid for electric service from your current electricity provider (in fact, less because you get the free solar bill credits). You enjoy the financial, community, and environmental benefits of being an off-taker at no-cost. All the discounts/credits for being an off-taker appear on your electric bill, and over the course of the year, you do not pay any more for electricity than you would be, were you not a community solar customer of Bullrock Solar.
Will I continue to get electricity from my current utility?
Yes! Bullrock Solar customers still enjoy the same current electricity service. Behind the scenes, there is a billing “handshake” process that occurs for the customer’s monthly bill. The utility pays Bullrock for the solar production (as required by Law). The customer pays Bullrock for electric service. Bullrock credits the customer for a pro-rata portion of the solar production from the community solar farms and pays the utility for the customer’s electric usage (because it’s still the utility’s meter and the utility informs Bullrock and the customer as to the customer’s usage and charges). The customer’s electric service remains the same, and again, behind the scenes on the billing, the customer, the utility, and Bullrock reconcile the customer’s account to make it as seamless a process as the customer’s current monthly electric billing. The process works most seamless and cost-effectively with ACH, though if the customer prefers to pay monthly electric bills with a credit card, Bullrock and the utility work together to make this work too.
Can others participate in Community Solar?
Yes! Anyone who pays a monthly residential electricity bill is eligible to enjoy the benefits of being a Bullrock Solar customer, and can sign-up in minutes on bullrocksolar.com. Bullrock Solar will help you verify your eligibility, and help you easily enjoy the benefits of community.
How long does it take before I start to earn my no-cost Bill Credits?
Off-takers start receiving Bill Credits on their bills after agreeing to be an off-taker (on www.BullrockSolar.com) and the Bullrock solar plant is operational in 2019. The community solar farms are already under construction. There is no interruption in your electric service, as the solar electrons flow into the grid, and you still use your current electricity lines.
How do I track how much I'm saving?
Once I enroll and Bullrock’s community solar farm is operational, I will be notified through email. Then each month, I’ll receive a statement that shows my bill credits and savings. I’ll be able to log-in to my account to see even more details.
Are my earnings dependent on the weather?
Bullrock Community Solar Off-Takers receive bill credits/discounts throughout the year. In higher solar production months, Bullrock Solar customers receive more dollars in bill credits. On average, over the course of each annual billing cycle, the customer should see bill credits equating to 10% of the cost of the electricity on his/her residential electric bill. Please note that in some months of the winter, the electric bill may seem higher because the bill doesn’t have the dollar amount of bill credits that were credited against the electricity bill (in favor of the customer) in the Summer months. Please also note this does not include the taxes and other regulated fees that we already see on your one monthly electric bill.
Is it possible to participate if I'm currently using NYSEG's Budget Billing?
Yes, please let us know, and we’ll help you transition to being a Bullrock Solar customer, again at no-cost.