Solar Dividends™ Program
Frequently Asked Questions
What are Solar Dividends?
Your CT Solar Lease allows you to participate in this unique program which could provide significant financial benefit from your solar system in addition to reducing your utility bill. CT Solar Leasing will aggregate and then sell the Renewable Energy Credits it owns which are generated by your solar system as well as others in the CT Solar Lease Program and will set aside a significant portion of the proceeds for your benefit.
What are Renewable Energy Credits?
A Renewable Energy Credit, or REC, represents the exclusive legal right to claim that a unit of energy, typically one megawatt hour (1 MWh) physically metered and verified, was generated from a renewable source. These RECs can often be sold for cash value. RECs can encourage the production of renewable energy by providing a production subsidy to energy generated from renewable sources. Legally, RECs are initially the property of the owner of the renewable energy system, but they may be assigned or sold to others.
Who Buys Renewable Energy Certificates?
Generally, RECs are sold into either the compliance market or voluntary market. The compliance market is typically comprised of utilities and generators who are under governmental mandates to produce and/or sell a certain amount of renewable energy. These mandates are often called renewable portfolio standards (RPS). In order to meet their particular RPS, the entity (utility or generator) needs to accumulate the required number of RECs and then retire them so they can’t be used again. The entity can either produce RECs from renewable energy projects under their ownership or they can buy RECs from other renewable energy project owners such as CT Solar Leasing. The voluntary market is comprised of companies and individuals that make a voluntary decision to utilize renewable energy as part of their own utility use. Many utilities offer voluntary “green energy” programs that allow electric users to make a voluntary choice to buy “green energy” by paying an additional amount on their monthly bill. These programs then buy RECs from renewable energy project owners to match the amount of “green energy” sold through the program. These RECs are also then retired so they can’t be used again.
How Does CT Solar Leasing’s Ability To Aggregate RECs Help Me?
An aggregator like CT Solar Leasing offers several advantages. First CT Solar Leasing takes care of all DPUC filings and hearings as well as setting up the GIS system. CT Solar Leasing takes meter readings that you provide and generates the RECs which can be “banked” or sold. Since CT Solar Leasing owns many solar systems, it reports its RECs as if they came from one large system instead of a large number of small systems. In other words, CT Solar Leasing controls a large quantity of RECs which makes CT Solar Leasing a more attractive trading partner to an entity such as a utility that needs to purchase a large quantity of RECs. In fact, once the CT Solar Lease Program is complete, CT Solar Leasing will be one of the largest owners of solar RECs in the Northeast. Combined with professional management, CT Solar Leasing expects to obtain significantly better prices and terms than a typical homeowner could selling his/her RECs into the market.
How Do I Sign Up For The Solar Dividends Program?
You can acknowledge the terms and conditions of the program when you sign your lease papers or at anytime thereafter. However, you will not be eligible to earn Solar Dividends until you do so.
What Portion Of The Proceeds Will Go Into My Solar Dividends Account?
CT Solar will track the cumulative, weighted average price all REC sales after deducting its actual costs for administering the Solar Dividends program (“REC Sales Price”). When the REC Sales Price is less than or equal to $30 per REC, 50% of the proceeds of that particular REC sale will be added to your Solar Dividends account. When the REC Sales Price exceeds $30 per REC, then 100% of the proceeds of that particular REC sale after deducting $15 per REC will be added to your Solar Dividends account.
Here is an example: A 5KW solar system should generate about 6 RECs per year. If the RECs were sold for $30 each (net of costs), your Solar Dividends account would be credited for $90.. This example does not include the potential impact of multiple REC sales and averaging.
The REC trading market and pricing is changing rapidly. REC values tend to vary by state and region depending on governmental mandates and associated rules as well as voluntary market demand. CT Solar Leasing can not make any representations as to what RECs will be originated and sold in the program. Prices for Connecticut solar RECs have recently been quoted in a range of $18 to $24.
How Can My Solar Dividends Be Used?
CT Solar Leasing will hold the amount in your Solar Dividends account until you apply to use amounts available for an approved use. Generally, an approved use is (1) out of warranty repairs including inverter replacement; (2) the purchase of the system at the end of the lease term; or (3) the cost of removal and return of the system.
You may request reimbursement for any approved expenses paid to a third party or apply the balance against your purchase cost at the end of the lease.
What Are My Responsibilities?
Among your responsibilities are to provide CT Solar Leasing with meter readings from your solar system not less than 4 times per calendar year. These readings can then be entered online per instructions you will receive once your solar system is operating. You must remain in compliance with the terms of your lease agreement and may not take actions that would negate the value of the RECs.
Do I Have The Option Of Selling Or Retaining The RECs From My Solar System?
No, the RECs are owned by CT Solar Leasing and will be aggregated for the benefit of all participants in the CT Solar Lease Program.