Community Solar Program
No roof. No problem.
The City of Elgin has partnered with the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus to participate in the state’s largest community solar program called the CS2 Residential and Small Commercial Program, which provides consumers easy access to community solar farms in northern Illinois.
In January 2023, the CS2 program received special recognition through the Department of Energy (DOE) Sunny Awards for Equitable Community Solar. The CS2 program was a winner in both the Innovation in Community Engagement and Innovation in Impact categories.
A community solar project is a single site solar installation that is shared by multiple consumers (termed “subscribers”). Each subscriber receives credits for their share of the electricity generated by their community solar installation (termed “net-metering credits”). These net-metering credits reduce the amount of electricity charged to the subscriber’s account each month to yield cost savings. With community solar, subscribers can reduce their monthly electric bills with solar without installing solar panels on their house or business.
How It Works
- Elgin resident or small business signs up for the program and is subscribed to a solar farm located within the region.
- Electricity generated from solar flows into the grid, blending with electrons generated from all energy sources (wind, fossil fuel, nuclear, etc.,) to power homes and businesses.
- Subscribers receive credits on their ComEd accounts, reducing the energy supply charges on their monthly electric bills.
- Reduce energy supply charges on your monthly ComEd electric bill.
- No cost to sign up, no termination fees, and no credit check.
- Support solar industry development in Illinois.
- No need to invest in solar panels on your roof.
To enroll, click here to join the reservation list. After clicking the link above, hover your mouse over 'Language/Idioma', and select the language of your choice. All future communication will be sent in the language you use to sign-up.
When a community solar project becomes available to accept new subscribers, you will be notified by the Program Administrator (MC²) with an opportunity to enroll. After successfully completing the enrollment process, you will receive the net metering credits on your monthly ComEd electric utility bill for your share of the generation created by your Community Solar project (more on billing to the right).
Billing is a two-step process. After successfully completing the enrollment process, you will receive net metering credits on your ComEd bill. Then, after you have received your net metering credits for ComEd, MC Squared Energy Services, LLC will bill you for 90% of the net metering credits - leaving you with 10% of all net metering credits toward your supply fees on your bill. You will also be able to see how your participation helps the environment each month!
Note: There is work underway to consolidate the bills and improve that process.
If you have problems signing up or have questions about the billing process, contact MC2 by 833-970-3552 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You do not need to contact the City of Elgin to participate in the program. However, if you have questions about the program, please call 311 and our citizen advocates can assist you.
Frequently Asked Questions on the Community Solar Program
Overview of Program
What is Community Solar Clearinghouse Solutions (CS²)?
The Community Solar Clearinghouse Solutions (CS²) program, was created by the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus (MMC) and The Power Bureau. The retail energy supplier MC Squared (MC2) administers the program. The CS² Program was created to pool municipal subscribers and match them with community solar projects under development. Now MMC and the Power Bureau are shifting their focus toward residential subscribers. The CS2 Residential Program allows municipalities to extend fair and transparent subscription terms to their residents and small businesses. Local governments provide a trusted voice to citizens to let them know that a community solar offer is credible. Additional benefits of the CS2 Residential Program include saving residents money on the supply portion of their electric bill and providing equitable access to community solar by seeking projects that do not require credit checks.
How does it work?
Residents or small businesses in Elgin can choose to enroll in the CS2 program online. They will sign a contract directly with MC Squared, the retail energy supplier administering the program, and are subscribed to a local solar farm. Their subscription with the local solar farm generates solar electricity, which is delivered to the electric grid and blended with other types of energy (such as wind, nuclear, or fossil-fuel based). The CS2 subscriber receives credits for the amount of solar electricity their subscription generates, and these credits are called net metering credits. Of these credits, 80% are paid as a subscription fee to the solar provider, and 20% is kept by the subscriber, creating cost reductions on the supply portion of your bill.
What are the benefits?
- No roof, no problem. The program does not require the installation of solar panels on your roof. Instead, you can simply sign up online to join the program and contribute to solar generation.
- No cost to sign up, no termination fees, and no credit checks. Residents and small businesses can enroll in or terminate the program as needed, at no cost. The contract can be cancelled at any time with 30 days’ notice.
- Reduce the energy supply charges on your monthly ComEd electric bill. Subscribing to the CS2 program will help you save money on your electricity bill. Through a process called net metering credits, subscribers will receive credits for the amount of solar their subscription generates. Of these credits, for 90% are paid as a subscription fee to the solar provider and 10% is kept by the subscriber, creating cost reductions on the supply portion of your bill. (For the average Elgin resident, this is an average savings of about $100 per year.)
- Support the local solar industry. By participating in this program, you support solar projects in Illinois.
- An alternative to physical solar panels. This is a good option for renters, those who live in multi-unit dwellings, those with shaded roofs not suitable for physical solar panels, or who don't want to invest in physical solar panels
Do I have to install solar panels on my roof?
No, this is a subscription program, meaning no physical solar panels are required. Subscribers enroll in the program online and are subscribed to a local solar farm.
Will I receive 100% solar electricity for my home or business by subscribing to this program?
No, the solar electricity generated from a CS2 subscription is delivered to the electric grid and blended with other types of energy, such as wind, nuclear, or fossil-fuel based. The blended electricity from the grid is what you receive to power your home or business.
How do I save?
Subscribers will save 10% off the net metering credits their subscription generates, which creates guaranteed reductions on the supply portion of their electricity bill. ComEd bills are broken into three portions: Supply, Delivery, and Taxes & Fees. Subscribers will enjoy reductions off the supply portion of the bill.
What are net-metering credits?
The subscriber (Elgin residents or small businesses) receives credits for the solar electricity their subscription generates. These credits are called net metering credits. Through the program, the subscriber will keep 10% of all net metering credits, which are applied to your bill and reduce the energy supply charges on your monthly ComEd bill..
Eligibility and enrollment
How do I sign up?
This is an optional program. MC Squared is the retail energy supplier administering the program. You can sign up on MC Squared’s official website by clicking here, or by calling the official community solar call line at: 833-970-3552.
To sign up, you will need:
1. Name on ComEd bill.
4. ComEd account number.
5. ComEd meter number.
Who is eligible to participate?
- Customers on ComEd’s bundled supply service, or default rate, are eligible.
- Residents and small businesses can participate in the program.
- Renters or homeowners whose name is on the ComEd bill can sign up to participate in this program.
What are the commitments?
The contract that subscribers sign with MC2 can be cancelled at any time with 30 days’ notice. At the end of the contract term, a renewal offer email will be sent with the same benefits to the subscriber.
Is a credit check required?
No, a credit check is not required to participate in this program.
What should I expect for the billing process?
Participation in the program currently requires you pay two bills per month, instead of one: one bill from ComEd for delivery and other fees, and one bill from MC2 for your subscription and net metering credits. There is work underway to consolidate the bills and improve that process.
You must enroll in autopay through MC2 to participate in the program.
How will I save?
The subscriber (Elgin residents or small businesses) receives credits for the solar electricity their subscription generates, these credits are called net metering credits. Of these credits, for 90% are paid as a subscription fee to the solar provider, and 10% is kept by the subscriber, creating cost reductions on the supply portion of your bill.
You may choose a community solar offer from other Approved Vendors. For a complete list of your options, visit https://illinoisshines.com/approved-vendor-info/.
You can call the official community solar call line offered by MC2 toll-free at: 833-970-3552, or send them an email at email@example.com.