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Frequently asked questions about SunShare Community Solar

Yes. By choosing to support a local community solar program you are contributing to reducing the reliance on fossil fuels and creating fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

One of our pledges as a company is to leave the land better than we found it. For example, in Minnesota, we are part of Fresh Energy’s “Pollinator Pledge.” This means, when possible, we design our gardens to serve as a habitat for bees and butterflies that pollinate local farms. We also try to build on brownfield sites, which include land with limited use such as old landfills or chemical spill sites.

We have 20 fully subscribed and operational solar gardens in Colorado and Minnesota and will continue to build new solar gardens in Colorado and Minnesota in the future.

A subscription now means you will reserve a spot in one of our new solar gardens and begin seeing credits on your bill as soon as the gardens are built and active.

In order to subscribe to a SunShare Community Solar Garden, you must be an Xcel Energy customer, live in the same county as, or adjacent to, the garden, and have a credit score of at least 680.

The beauty of community solar is that EVERYONE, who pays an electric bill, can benefit from solar electricity – regardless of homeownership or roof quality.

If you are interested but need more information, contact one of our team members by email at info@mysunshare.com or by dialing 844-969-7652.

If you are ready to subscribe now, simply fill out the short form on mysunshare.com/signup to receive the subscription documents.

  • SunShare will do a credit check to ensure your credit score is above 680. This will take about 2 – 4 weeks complete.

  • Simultaneously, SunShare will reach out to Xcel Energy for your usage information in order to accurately calculate your subscription. This will take about 3-5 weeks to complete.

  • Once SunShare has calculated your subscription, and your credit has been approved, you will officially become a SunShare subscriber, and you will be put on a wait list for a to-be-constructed solar garden. Subscribers are placed into solar gardens on a first-come-first-served basis.

  • Once you have been assigned to a to-be-built solar garden, there is typically a 6 – 12 month construction time frame. While your solar garden is being built, SunShare will provide helpful information regarding your SunShare subscription, including important information about billing, how to set up automatic payments, and the expected date for when your garden will become live.

After your subscription is approved, you will be put on a wait list for a to-be-constructed solar garden. Subscribers are placed into solar gardens on a first-come-first-served basis.

Once you have been assigned to a to-be-built solar garden, there is typically a 6 – 12 month construction time frame. While your solar garden is being built, SunShare will provide helpful information regarding your SunShare subscription, including important information about billing, how to set up automatic payments, and the expected date for when your garden will become live.

Yes. Xcel Energy still delivers power to your home and provides any energy you consume. The electricity generated by the SunShare Community Solar Garden simply supplements the utility company’s energy to help reduce its need for fossil fuels.

SunShare works under Xcel Energy’s community solar program, but it is not considered a partner. SunShare is a privately held, family and employee-owned company.

No. Your subscription simply pays for the generation of the clean, renewable energy that is delivered to your utility company.

No. SunShare’s Solar Services Agreement is in no way intended to be viewed as an investment.

No. SunShare will own, operate, maintain and insure the solar garden for its lifetime.

Currently, there are no tax incentives associated with subscribing to a community solar program. SunShare, as the developer and owner of the solar garden, does take advantage of tax incentives to help reduce costs and save subscribers money.

Our Solar Services Agreement is 20 or 25 years, depending on the region. The contract length is based on the agreement we make with the utility partner to ensure that the distribution of the solar energy can be as efficient as possible. Your agreement entitles you to cost-saving solar bill credits, as well as the benefit of a locked-in low rate for your solar energy subscription, over the length of your contract.

Our Solar Services Agreements are flexible to allow for an easy transfer or cancellation if you move or need to end your subscription for any reason. See our transfer or cancellation FAQ .

If you are already a subscriber and you move outside of Xcel Energy’s service territory or to a location where your utility bill is covered by a third party, for example, a landlord, you would become ineligible.

If you are not a current subscriber, you must be an Xcel Energy customer, live in the same county as, or adjacent to, the garden and have a credit score of at least 680 to be eligible for SunShare Community Solar.

If you become ineligible to participate in our program, our Solar Services Agreement, unlike many of our competitors, is flexible enough to allow for an easy exit. We just require a 60-day notice to cancel your agreement with no penalty to you.

Yes. If at any point you do not wish to continue participating in SunShare Community Solar while you are still eligible, we will help transfer your capacity to a new resident. If we absolutely cannot find someone to transfer your capacity to, we may need to issue you a cancelation fee. However, we do not consider fining our customers to be a good business practice and would work with you to avoid that.

You will just need to complete the Consent to Disclose Utility Customer Data Form for each account number as well as a Subscriber Agency Agreement for each location and SunShare will consolidate all of your accounts under one SunShare Solar Services Agreement. Please contact info@mysunshare.com to complete this process.

If you have plans to add an addition or move to a larger home in the future, we recommend subscribing to 120% of your current energy usage. If you’d rather start at a lower percentage, we can increase your subscription later if there is availability in the solar garden.

You will continue to pay SunShare for the energy produced by your subscription and contributed to Xcel Energy’s grid, and Xcel Energy will continue to reimburse you in the form of solar credits. Since you will not be using as much energy as you have in the past, you will likely cover the entirety of your Xcel Energy bill with solar credits and even have excess credits which will roll over each month. If you still have excess credits at the end of the year, Xcel Energy will issue reimbursement checks in March for the previous year.

As long as you are within the service territory, SunShare moves with you. If you move out of the service territory, your subscription can be cancelled with a 60-day notice with no penalty to you.

Your utility will continue to deliver you electricity, and you will only pay for the amount of energy the garden produces within your subscription. If the panels do not produce electricity for any reason, such as a natural disaster, massive snow storm, equipment malfunction, etc., you will not be charged. If the garden’s production decreases for any reason, you will simply receive a smaller bill from SunShare, and receive fewer energy credits from your utility provider. If the garden stops producing altogether, you will not receive a bill from SunShare or see solar credits on your electricity bill until the solar garden is back up and running.

Disturbances like a storm can affect your utility provider’s grid and the delivery of electricity to your home. And, because our solar energy is distributed onto your utility provider’s grid, the chances of your power going out are just as likely as they were before subscribing.

It takes SunShare about 9 – 12 months to acquire land, obtain zoning approvals, receive utility approvals, construct a solar garden and connect and activate the solar garden.

SunShare will send you an assignment alert via email once you have been assigned to a to-be-built solar garden. While your solar garden is being built, SunShare will provide helpful information regarding your SunShare subscription, including important information about billing, how to set up automatic payments, and the expected date for when your garden will become live.

SunShare will send you a garden activation alert via email about 1 – 2 months prior to your solar garden going live. This email will inform you when your solar garden will be active, and when you will start receiving the benefits of community solar.

You can dial 800.793.0786 for assistance with your subscription.

You will receive your first bill from SunShare one to two months after your solar garden has gone live.

You will see bill credits on your Xcel Energy bill one to two months after your solar garden has gone live. If Xcel Energy bills you before the 9th of each month, you can expect to see the first solar credits a month after your garden has gone live. If Xcel Energy bills you after the 9th of each month, you will see solar credits on your bill two months after your solar garden has gone live.

For Minnesota subscribers, you can pay your bill online at billing.accountservicing.com. You will need your account number, which can be located on your bill and begins with 870. Through this portal, you may also sign up for Paperless Billing, so you will receive emailed bills instead of paper bills. The delivery of the paperless bills maybe quicker than traditional mail.

For Colorado subscribers, you can pay your SunShare bill with a personal check or through Automated Clearing House (ACH) Withdrawal. For either of these options, you will need your current SunShare bill.

Yes, if you currently participate in Xcel Energy’s Averaged Monthly Payment (AMP) program, the timing of when your solar credits are applied to your Xcel Energy bill will be different than outlined above. With the AMP program, you’re billed monthly on a basis which is separate from your current actual usage. Your actual energy usage and Solar*Rewards Community credits are still tracked and shown on your monthly bill, but your amount due is based on the average of your prior 12-month historical energy usage and costs. Every 12 months you will be billed or a credit will be applied to future bills based on the difference between what you have paid and the energy you have used. So, solar credits will still be posted to your account, but they fall into the same category as the actual usage amounts. This means that though they are continually tracked, you will not see the effect of your solar credits on the amount you owe until the end of a 12-month cycle.

There are a few scenarios in which you may not be seeing solar credits on your Xcel Energy bill.

Your utility will continue to deliver you electricity, and you will only pay for the amount of energy the garden produces within your subscription. If the panels do not produce electricity for any reason, such as a natural disaster, massive snow storm, equipment malfunction, etc., you will not be charged. If the garden’s production decreases for any reason, you will simply receive a smaller bill from SunShare, and receive fewer energy credits from your utility provider. If the garden stops producing altogether, you will not receive a bill from SunShare or see solar credits on your electricity bill until the solar garden is back up and running.

Disturbances like a storm can affect your utility provider’s grid and the delivery of electricity to your home. And, because our solar energy is distributed onto your utility provider’s grid, the chances of your power going out are just as likely as they were before subscribing.

You will continue to pay SunShare for the energy produced by your subscription and contributed to Xcel Energy’s grid, and Xcel Energy will continue to reimburse you in the form of solar credits. Since you will not be using as much energy as you have in the past, you will likely cover the entirety of your Xcel Energy bill with solar credits and even have excess credits which will roll over each month. If you still have excess credits at the end of the year, Xcel Energy will issue reimbursement checks in March for the previous year.

One advantage to subscribing to SunShare is the flexible Solar Services Agreement. If you are moving within the same or an adjacent county of your utility service area, SunShare will help you transfer the subscription to your new address so you can continue to receive bill credits from your utility. For businesses with multiple premises, you may transfer your subscription to a new electric meter.

If at any point, you wish to discontinue your subscription while you are still eligible, we will help you transfer your capacity to a new subscriber. If we absolutely cannot find someone to replace your capacity and you are still an eligible participant, we would have the right to issue you a fee. However, we do our best to maintain a waiting list at all times so that we can replace subscribers who can no longer participate for whatever reason.

If you are a Minnesota subscriber and become ineligible to participate in our program because you move outside of your utility provider’s territory, or can’t receive bill credits from them for any other reason, we simply require 60-days’ notice to cancel your agreement with no penalty to you.

If at any point you wish to discontinue your subscription while you are still eligible, we will help you transfer your capacity to a new subscriber. If we absolutely cannot find someone to replace your capacity and you are still an eligible participant, we would have the right to issue you a fee. However, we do our best to maintain a waiting list at all times so that we can replace subscribers who can no longer participate for whatever reason.

The solar gardens are usually located on private property. We do not suggest any attempt to trespass or enter the fenced-in area of the solar garden.

Xcel Energy is a registered trademark of Xcel Energy. All rights reserved. Xcel Energy is not affiliated or otherwise legally associated with SunShare, and your subscription contract, and all terms and conditions, are with SunShare. Solar*Rewards Community is a registered trademark of Xcel Energy. All rights reserved.