Arcadia Power community solar program review

Community solar provides access to solar for residential electric customers who otherwise would not be able to install solar panels on their property. To date, though, community solar has not seen the same levels of adoption as residential rooftop solar. We conducted a Q&A with Arcadia Power to learn more about how their new community solar offering helps lower barriers to participation. 

While more traditional community solar options require long-term commitments and contracts, Arcadia Power’s community solar programs in New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, Colorado, California, Georgia, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia offer a guaranteed discount on your electric bill and the ability to cancel at any time with no fee. 

What is community solar?

As a residential electric customer, you may not be able to install solar panels on your rooftop or property for any number of reasons: perhaps you’re a renter or perhaps your property or home is not suited for solar. Community solar programs provide an alternative option for electric customers to still obtain some of the myriad benefits of solar. A community solar program builds a large solar array close to a center of residential customers, typically near an urban area, and aggregates many residential customers who are all interested in going solar. Each customer purchases or rents a portion of the solar array sufficient to meet their monthly or annual electric demand.

Arcadia Power’s community solar program

The Arcadia Power community solar program guarantees a reduced energy bill, requires no long-term commitment and integrates with utility billing systems so you only pay a single bill per month.

The clearest benefit of Arcadia’s community solar program for residential customers interested in solar is the ability to cancel at any time. No longer do you have to sign a 20-year contract, risk a termination fee, or be obligated to transfer the commitment to the next tenant in a rented apartment.

Beyond this primary benefit, Arcadia Power’s ability to integrate with utility billing systems provides an innovative method to ease other possible pitfalls of community solar programs. First, it allows Arcadia to send you a single bill each month. Second, it provides Arcadia with the information about your usage necessary to appropriately size your allocation from a solar array, removing any need for your own calculations. And, finally, it allows Arcadia Power to offer a guaranteed bill reduction every month – in New York, it’s a 5 percent discount on your electric bill.

Availability of Arcadia Power’s community solar program

At present, the Arcadia Power community solar program is available to customers in New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, Colorado, California, Georgia, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia.

Don’t live in these regions? In the near future, Arcadia plans to continue expanding their community solar program as states move more and more towards favorable community solar legislation.

Historical barriers to entry for community solar

Arcadia Power’s new community solar program seeks to remove a few key historical barriers to entry for residential customers interested in community solar programs.

Long-term contracts

In order to ensure that there will be residential customers to buy the solar power from these developments for years to come, community solar programs typically offer long-term (20 year) contracts. If you are a renter or expect to move in a few years, a long-term contract can create an obstacle to joining a community solar program.

Offset billing cycles

Another potential hurdle for community solar is that the billing cycle for the program and for your utility can be out of sync. In other words, you may pay for your portion of the community solar program a few weeks before you see the credit from that solar generation appear on your utility bill. While the savings ultimately even out, the discrepancy in timing between the two bills could become difficult to keep track of.  

Sizing your purchase

Finally, buying into a community solar program can require you to independently determine the portion of the array to buy into on a capacity, or kilowatt, basis. This adds complexity to the process by requiring you to research your average monthly electricity consumption, determine what portion of usage you’d like to offset, convert that consumption to solar capacity, and then request a certain allocation of the array.

Discover your community solar options on EnergySage

If you’re considering community solar, EnergySage’s Community Solar Marketplace can help you make an informed decision. Discover the community solar programs available in your state and explore our educational content to ensure your solar needs are met.

EnergySage is committed to unbiased, accurate representation of programs, policies and pricing in the solar industry. To verify the benefits of Arcadia Power’s community solar program, we reviewed publicly available documentation on the New York Department of Public Service website. Please be in touch if you’d like to learn more!

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About Spencer Fields

Spencer is the Manager of Market Strategy & Intelligence at EnergySage, where he's able to showcase his expertise around all things energy. Prior to joining EnergySage, he spent five years at Synapse Energy Economics, providing environmental, economic and policy analysis for public interest groups. Spencer has degrees in Environmental Studies and Hispanic Studies from Brown University, meaning when he's not in the office you can find him outside or traveling somewhere to work on his Spanish.

8 thoughts on “Arcadia Power community solar program review

  1. Maria Neal

    What about the gas portion of your bill are you required to make the gas payment to your utilities provider and also a monthly payment to Arcadia for the electricity please advice.

  2. Mike Odell

    You all should check out reviews on bbb and other sites before considering. I have heard and read horror stories on this company. Just be cautious.

  3. Lisa M. Senerchia

    We signed up for this in May 2021. It is now January 2022 and we have yet to see a discount on our electric bill. We try to call but we just get the run around. Can someone help me with an actual working number?

  4. Mr Bisquit

    “in New York, it’s a 5 percent discount on your electric bill.”

    This appears to be false. I only received ~$2 off what would have been a ~$62 electric bill. Arcadia customer support told me the ~$2 is “5% of the solar savings” which was ~$40. In this case the difference isn’t a large dollar amount (5% of ~$62 is ~$3), but I the savings rate has been misrepresented.

  5. timothy smythe

    am I signing up for power savings or installing solar panels, I do not wish to do any type of installing.

    1. Brandon

      I’m sure you probably figured this out by now, but this is done with a big solar farm in a remote location(s). You are basically subscribing to use power generated from that solar company. Nothing physical is installed on your home.

  6. Peter Lowry

    I use them up in Upstate NY & very much like it! I have Solar Panels as well (which they were up front about that if I had them I should contact them & let them know, & I did) & they have a great interface, I can pay (fee free) with a credit card (getting additional cash back savings) & they notified me 2 different times about lower rates they’ve locked me into. Overall I’m very pleased with them!
    If interested my referral link is below!


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