October 25, 2019

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by: fpl

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Tags: carport, Community, cost, damaged, FPL, Guide, panels, solar benefit, Solar Power, solar program

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Categories: Blog

FPL Solar Power Community Guide

So you’re interested in joining our community solar program, but not completely sure what it is. Don’t fear, many of the most common questions are outlined below. Read on for all you need to know about community solar, and soon you’ll be having fun saving money from the sun.

What is a community solar program?

Community solar offers a way for anyone to go solar, regardless of having to install panels on a rooftop or personal property. In order to join the program, you may purchase any number of panels. These panels are installed at offsite locations, such as business buildings with a need for tenant parking. The energy your panels generate is sent directly to the CPS Energy grid, and in turn you will receive a credit that is applied to your home power bill each month.

So tell me, how much does it really cost, and how will I benefit?

Cost

Each panel costs $876 before any incentives. To reserve your panels, you will need to pay a 10% deposit. The remaining 90% will be due when construction of the solar carports begins, happening throughout 2019. Read on to see how our program is significantly cheaper than traditional rooftop solar.

Benefits

Each solar panel produces around $4.20 in credits per month, which will be applied directly to your CPS Energy bill. Note that this is an average—panels will produce more in the summer and less in the winter. With community solar, forget holes in your roof. Plus, if you move homes you’ll still be able to profit from your panels. Now that’s smart solar!

Our community solar program is significantly cheaper than traditional rooftop solar. To paint a picture:

  • With rooftop solar, the average cost of a 6.2 kW system is $24,400.
  • With FPL, the same system would only cost $14,900.
  • In this scenario, our community solar program is 40% less expensive than traditional rooftop solar.

Why is your program so much cheaper than other solar options?

Our community solar program is both cheaper and more profitable than other solar options. Here’s the math breakdown, plain and simple:

  • Consumers pay approximately 9.8¢ for each kilowatt hour (kWh) they consume on their monthly energy bill.
  • With traditional rooftop solar, homeowners receive the benefit of net-metering. Through net-metering, homeowners get a 1 to 1 credit until they start over-producing in any given month. Any overproduction is purchased by the local energy utility (CPS Energy) for around 1.6¢ per kWh.
  • Through our program, CPS Energy has agreed to credit your bill for ALL power produced by your panels at 9¢ per kWh instead of the typical 1.6¢ rate, even if you produce more than you consume.

We’ve managed to lower the purchase price of the solar panels by charging for parking underneath the carports we install. We then took that additional revenue source and used it to drive down the cost of solar for YOU, the valued customer, because we believe that solar should be available for everyone.

What happens if my panels produce more credits than I pay per bill?

In the event that your panels produce more energy than you consume, you will receive a credit on your bill that rolls over to the following month. With traditional rooftop solar, any over production would only be credited at 1.6¢ per kWh. Through our program, you will receive the full 9¢ per kWh for all production. In other words, sit back and enjoy the savings and bragging rights that come along with your investment.

How many panels is optimal?

You can purchase as little as 1 panel or as many as you need to offset up to 120% of your annual energy costs. Use the get-a-quote tool on our website to determine how many panels are right for you based on your savings goals or budget—all you’ll need is your zip code and CPS energy account number. Our tool will automatically offset an average of 50% by design, though you can customize it however you’d like!

What happens if I move or relocate? Can I gift my panels to a family member or friend?

Your panels belong to you—they are your asset and you retain full ownership of them. Here are some common scenarios, each detailed below:

If I move to a new place within the CPS Energy grid…

If you move homes but stay within the CPS Energy service territory—meaning CPS Energy is still your energy provider—then you won’t have to do anything except let us know. The credit from your solar panels will be pointed to your new account number and you will continue to receive monthly credits on your bill.

If I leave San Antonio…

If you move to a new location outside of the CPS Energy service territory, then you have many options as to what will happen with your panels. You can sell or donate your panels to a friend, family member, or anyone within the CPS Energy service territory. They are your assets so you can do as you wish with them!

If I pass away…

Let’s hope it doesn’t come to this, but things happen and you need to be prepared for the worst. You can name someone in your will so that in the event of death, your panels will be passed on to them and they’ll have full rights to your account. That individual will then take ownership of the panels and receive the bill credits each month on their CPS Energy bill. If they live outside of the CPS Energy service area, they will be able to sell or donate that asset.

If I decide I no longer want solar…

If you have for some reason decided you no longer want a lower energy bill or to help the environment, or have decided someone else can benefit more from your solar credits, you are welcome to sell your panels or point your credits to another person’s CPS Energy account. This can be done at any time.

Will this program increase my property value?

Nope! Since the panels are located on carports around town and are not fixed to your home, your property value will stay the same. This will not be an issue if you are worried about your property value increasing. Since this is an asset you own, your panels may be subject to personal property taxes. Bexar County has never charged personal property tax on community solar however there is always the possibility that they could. We don’t think this will happen however we want to be as transparent as possible!

What if my panels get damaged?

You have nothing to worry about, because we insure your panels for you! We maintain full replacement value property insurance on your panels, so you can rest easy if there’s ever an unfortunate hailstorm, hurricane, tornado, or magnitude 10 earthquake that hits the Pakistan and causes half of California to sink into the ocean. But not to worry—chances are, such an occurrence won’t happen here in Texas.

What if I don’t have a carport?

You do not need to own a carport to participate in the program. We are constructing our solar carports in large surface parking lots such as office spaces, universities, or car dealerships. You do not need to worry about hosting a carport at your home. You would just own some solar panels located on top of our carports. If you have a commercial location with at least 30 unshaded parking spaces and would like to host a carport, please reach out to us so we can discuss this further!

Have any questions not answered here? Check out the FAQ page on our website for answers to frequently asked questions, or contact us anytime 9am-5pm Monday through Friday to speak with a member of our sales team. Visit our website to get an instant quote for FPL Community Solar panels. There’s never going to be a chance like this again, so get in on it quick!