Community solar subscribers in the Ameren service territory may receive an additional bill or charges from your community solar provider if you received additional community solar bill credits due to Ameren’s recalculation of bill credits.
Community solar subscribers receive credits on their Ameren bill based on the amount of electricity generated by their share of the solar project.
|Community solar credits|
on subscriber’s Ameren bill
|=||kWh of electricity generated by your share of the community solar project||x||Crediting rate|
The Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (Public Act 102-0662) changed the crediting rate for community solar bill credits, effective June 1, 2022. Previously, the crediting rate was the customer’s energy supply rate.
Ameren is now required to provide bill credits to community solar subscribers at the utility Price to Compare. The Price to Compare includes both the utility rate for energy supply, and also includes the transmission service charge. For more information on the Price to Compare, please visit https://www.pluginillinois.org/FixedRateBreakdownAmeren.aspx.
Customers who get their energy supply from Ameren are now credited a higher monetary value for each kWh produced by their community solar subscription due to the inclusion of the transmission service charge. For customers who receive energy supply from an Alternative Retail Electric Supplier (ARES), the new crediting rate may be more or less, depending on the ARES supply rate.
Ameren’s billing system was not set up to change the community solar crediting rate by June 1, 2022. Ameren continued to calculate community solar bill credits at the customer’s energy supply rate. Then in the fall of 2022, Ameren conducted a “re-bill” to recalculate community solar customers’ bill credits, going back to June 1, 2022, at the correct new crediting rate—the Price to Compare.
Affected customers may have received a large amount of community solar bill credits added to their Ameren account in October or November 2022 as part of this re-bill process.
Some customers may have the opposite result. If their energy supply rate over last summer was higher than Ameren’s Price to Compare, they may have their amount of community solar bill credits reduced through the re-bill.
Subscribers can check the “Electric Supply” section of their Ameren bill to determine if they have accrued unused community solar credits on the line marked “NM Current Generation Offset.” Community solar bill credits roll over month-to-month for as long as you are a customer in Ameren’s service territory.
For Ameren customers, community solar bill credits can currently only be applied to the supply portion of your electric bill. However, beginning November 1, 2023, your community solar bill credits will be applied to the total electric charges on your Ameren bill, including taxes and other charges.
How the Ameren Re-Bill Affects Your Community Solar Subscription Fees
Many community solar subscriptions are set up so that the customer pays for their community solar subscription based on the amount of bill credits the customer receives. For example, many community solar providers bill their customers for 80-90% of the value of the bill credits that the customer receives.
For subscribers who received a large amount of bill credits after the Ameren re-bill process took place, their community solar provider may have sent them a bill, or may intend to send them a bill, based on the bill credits they received through the re-bill process. Depending on the amount of bill credits received through the re-bill, the charges from your community solar provider may be higher than normal.
Some community solar providers may be willing to offer payment plans to spread the additional charges over multiple months if the additional charge is a significant financial burden. If a subscriber receives an unusually large bill from their community solar provider, they may want to reach out to the provider and ask if they can offer a payment plan.
If a subscriber’s community solar credits were reduced through the re-bill process, their community solar provider may be refunding the subscriber because they initially charged the subscriber for credits that the subscriber ultimately did not get to use.
What to Do if You Have a Large Amount of Community Solar Bill Credits
For subscribers with a large amount of community solar bill credits, they may want to discuss their options with their community solar provider. Keep in mind that your community solar subscription will generate more credits in the summer than in the winter because the days are longer and the sunlight is more direct. Also keep in mind that, starting November 1, your community solar bill credits will be applied to your entire electric bill, which will allow you to use up your bill credits more quickly.
If you have difficulty getting in touch with your community solar provider, have questions, or want to file a complaint related to this or any other community solar issue, please contact the Program Administrator at [email protected] or (877) 783-1820.