Frequently Asked Questions

How does RooflessSolar work?

Clean Energy Collective builds a RooflessSolar (Community Solar) array within your utility’s service territory. Then, as clean power is produced by the RooflessSolar array, power is transferred to your local utility’s grid and distributed to customers across the territory. You, as a participant in the program, receive credit on your electric bill for the power produced by your system located within the array.

How much will I save?

Savings will be determined by the size of your system and the bill credit rates provided by your local utility.

You can select your system online or work with a Clean Energy Collective Solar Specialist to customize a proposal that will provide your estimated monthly and lifetime savings.

How much does it cost?

The cost of a RooflessSolar system varies depending on the available options in your market, your system size, and the individualized system selections. We suggest working with a Solar Specialist to determine which participation option is best for you.

Do I have to maintain anything?

No. All maintenance is handled by Clean Energy Collective. CEC handles all operations and maintenance of the RooflessSolar array. In maintaining the system, we monitor production, file any necessary claims against equipment warranties, and replace otherwise damaged equipment.

How is RooflessSolar different than rooftop solar?

It's out of sight and out of mind!

Many homes and businesses are not ideal for the installation of traditional rooftop solar for reasons including shading limitations, shared rooftop ownership, structural issues, accessibility for maintenance, and HOA limitations, to name a few. Because RooflessSolar is not located on your property, any electric customer – even renters - can participate. RooflessSolar is ideally sited and oriented towards the sun, ensuring optimal solar production with commercial grade equipment.

Do customers need to own a home or building to participate?

No! This is one of the many benefits of owning solar with CEC. Anyone with an electric bill is eligible to purchase solar panels, including both homeowners and renters.

How can I monitor my panels’ performance?

As a CEC customer, you can log on to your My Own Clean Energy account via the CEC website.

There you can see your system's details, review your customer documents, and access real-time information about your portion of the array's production, bill credits, and positive environmental impact.

What am I purchasing?

You are purchasing and owning specific solar panels in the Fort Collins Community Solar Array which is operated and maintained by Clean Energy Collective.

How much does it cost?

For a limited time, Fort Collins Utilities is offering a special rebate for participants in the Fort Collins Community Solar Array. With CEC's low price, Fort Collins Utilities' substantial rebate, and the available federal tax credit for solar, customers can save with local community solar for an effective cost of just $485 per panel.

Is financing available?

Yes. CEC has financing that is easy and affordable. If you want to maximize your savings right from the start to offset your entire electric bill, then our Clean Energy Program - developed in partnership with Sooper Credit Union - is for you. Click here to read more about CEC's financing options.

Is my community-owned solar system eligible for the IRS federal tax rebate known as the Investment Tax Credit?

Yes. Community solar is eligible for all the same federal incentives as on-site/rooftop solar. You will receive 30% of the gross price as a credit against your federal taxes. Your net effective cost will be just $1.59/watt or $485/panel.

Will I have to pay additional fees in the future?

No. All of the insurance, management and maintenance for the systems are included in the initial sales price and trust program. As a customer you will not have to pay any additional out of pocket fees.

Can I add more panels later?

Absolutely, provided there are panels still available. You can increase the size of your system up to the maximum determined by Fort Collins Utilities sizing rules. Your maximum eligible system size will be based on your historical electrical usage patterns, and can be easily provided by a Clean Energy Collective Solar Specialist.

What happens if I move?

You have many options, including:

  • Transfer your ownership to your new Fort Collins Utilities account
  • Resell your ownership at a fair market value
  • Donate your ownership to a local nonprofit
  • Transfer your ownership to a family member

How are my monthly electric bill credits calculated?

Each month, your electric bill will be credited for your panels' production based on the established community solar bill credit rate. Each subsequent year the credit rate will be adjusted by the escalation factor corresponding to the Fort Collins Utilities published electric rates. This mechanism helps protect you from the national trend of rising electricity costs.

How are ongoing maintenance expenses addressed?

A portion of your initial purchase price is placed into an Operations and Maintenance trust account. In addition, a portion of the solar array's monthly output is credited by Fort Collins Utilities to the O&M trust account. Funds held in the trust account may only be used to ensure the array is producing optimally throughout its lifetime.

Who owns the energy produced?

As a CEC customer and owner of your solar panels, you will own the rights to the power that your panels produce. Fort Collins Utilities has agreed to buy all the energy produced by your system for 25 years.

How much can I expect to save in the first year? Over the systems lifetime?

Your monthly bill credits are determined by how many panels you own and the solar array's production. Production will vary from month to month.

It is estimated that one panel will produce approximately $33 in bill savings over the first year, representing a 6.8% initial rate of payback, and up to $1,122 in total savings over the projected lifetime.

When will my system have paid for itself?

CEC estimates that at 3.5% annual energy price inflation, systems up to 3 kW will pay for themselves in 13 years.

What is the "lifetime" of the system?

Thanks to our Operation and Maintenance Program, our equipment will last longer and produce more power than the average rooftop PV system. Your system is designed, built and funded for an expected lifetime of up to 50 years. As a system owner, you own all the power output for as long as it remains active.

What happens to my bill credit rate if energy prices go up?

If Fort Collins Utilities rates increase, your power credits will also increase proportionally, protecting you from energy price inflation.

What are my options for system payment?

CEC accepts cash, checks, and credit cards. Low-interest financing is available through CEC's Clean Energy Loan Program, developed in partnership with Sooper Credit Union.