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How billing works

One way to think about community solar is as a billing system that allows you to benefit from solar energy without going solar on your own property.

When you purchase kilowatt-hours from your community solar provider, you receive credits for those same kilowatt-hours on your utility bill. There are two credit rates for Xcel Energy’s community solar program: the applicable retail rate (ARR) and the value of solar (VOS). Each community solar project will be enrolled either into the ARR or VOS rate. The ARR represents the full retail electricity rate you would have paid your utility for that energy. Most of the projects use this rate, which was available for community solar projects in the application queue through December 2017. The VOS uses a different calculation that is meant to represent the value of the solar electricity to Xcel Energy’s grid. When you subscribe to a project, the developer should tell you which bill credit rate structure that project is under, and how that rate will change over time.

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