solar panel in grassy field

Community Solar frequently Asked Questions

A community solar garden is a large collection of solar panels that benefit multiple households. Your subscription means you are assigned a portion of those panels, and you receive bill savings on your electric bill in the form of a monthly credit for the electricity that your assigned solar panels produce. Because the solar panels are located elsewhere, there is no equipment installed in your home.

Your household qualifies if it meets the following requirements:

  1. Your household receives an electric bill from Xcel Energy or Black Hills Energy
  2. Your household is income-qualified and/or you have qualified for LEAP or participated in an EOC program within the last 12 months.

Note: If your household received help from EOC’s Bill Payment Assistance Program withinthe last 12 months, you will NOT need to complete a full application. Please contact us if you would like to participate in the Community Solar Program so we can expedite your application.

Yes! Because there is no equipment installed, you can apply as a renter or multifamily building resident as long as you pay your electric bill directly and meet the above requirements.

The credits provided on your electric bill will vary each month, as solar gardens produce more electricity in the summer than in the winter months. Your annual electricity bill savings is estimated to be 50%, or over $600 per year for the average household. If you are concerned your enrollment in community solar is not producing significant savings, please contact us.

No, since this program just adds a credit to your electric bill, it will not affect your overall income or impact your ability to apply for and be approved for LEAP.

No, this program is completely free. Because this program is only available to households with a limited income, we made sure households that sign up for this program would have a donated community solar garden subscription. This donated subscription makes it so that there aren’t any fees to join or leave this program, no monthly subscription charge, and bill savings will appear automatically on your electricity bill.
  1. Your electric utility account number
  2. Proof of Income for all members of your household (LEAP or participation in EOC programs within the last 12 months count as proof of income, see below for other options)
  3. Household size
  • Proof of benefit from the following programs: Aid to the Blind (AB), Aid to the Needy Disable (AND), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Temporary Aidto Needy Families (TANF), Old Age Pension (OAP), Low Income Energy Assistance (LEAP), Housing ChoiceVoucher (Section 8), Medicaid,
    OR
  • Most recent Tax Return – IRS 1040, Wages or Tax Statement W2, most recent income (3 most recent paystubs), retirement benefits letter, letter from employer, Social Security Income (SSI), Social Security DisabilityIncome (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

To apply for this program, please fill out and submit an interest form. A member of our staff will contact you within two weeks to complete the application process. You can also email our solar team or call/text 303.226.7069 and we will mail or email you the application.

  1. EOC staff will verify income eligibility and send application forms for you to sign if you haven’t already.
  2. We’ll submit your signed data consent form to your electricity provider for approval.
  3. If your data consent form is approved, once the solar garden starts to produce, you’ll receive an enrollment packet from our team letting you know when and how to see savings on your bill.

Customers who fall behind on their bills are encouraged to apply for Energy Assistance and to call their electric utility to start an affordable payment plan. Please call the HEAT HELP line at 1.866.432.8435 to apply for assistance.

Your community solar subscription will not automatically follow your account if you move. If you plan to move, please contact EOC at solar@energyoutreach.org or 303.226.7069 and we will help enroll you at your new address, as long as you remain in Xcel Energy or Black Hill service territory.

Unlike for-profit programs that are selling subscriptions to a solar garden, the subscriptions for this program are donated. This means your solar subscription will be completely free, and doesn’t require any commitment, fees, financing, or down payments.

Ready to apply or have more questions?

Online

Complete our short
Solar Program Interest Form

Phone

Give us a call at
303.226.7060 or 303.226.7069

Email

Send an email with your interest to solar@energyoutreach.org

Would you like a copy of the Community Solar FAQ for your reference?  Click here to view, download, or print it.

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