Frequently asked questions

Where can I learn more about the solar developer for this project?

Each specific garden page identifies the developer for the garden. There is a link to the developer's website on the page where you can learn more.

Where can I find my solar credits on my utility bill?

Solar credits will be posted to your utility account monthly and will detail the   kilowatt hours of energy generated in the garden on your behalf. The solar   credit will be applied to the total bill amount that is due.

What if I move or want to cancel?

Novel has very flexible terms for transferring or cancelling your membership. You are able to do so at any time without penalty, we just need up to 60 days to process this with your utility company. If you move somewhere locally that is within eligible territory, we can easily transfer your membership to your new home. Otherwise, we will take care of finding someone to take over your spot in the solar garden.

How much does it cost to sign up?

It’s free to join and there are no taxes or hidden fees. You're guaranteed to save money on your electricity bill!

How much money will I save?

A subscription for the average household using 12,500 kWh can save an estimated $125 annually.

Your savings are equal to the difference between the bill credits you receive from your utility and the discounted payments you make to Novel. We don't know the exact amount you'll save because everyone’s electricity usage is different, but we can estimate the energy production and corresponding bill credits to give you an idea of what to expect. Savings to you are guaranteed but will vary based on a few factors, including actual weather conditions and how fast the utility’s rates increase each year. 

Why should I join a community solar garden?

You should join a community solar garden if you want to save money, are looking to make a positive environmental impact, and help transition to a sustainable energy future without investment cost or hassle! Also, you are supporting local jobs as well as landowners in your area that are hosting these gardens. We are Minnesota-owned and operated, employ over 150 people in-state, and are growing rapidly.

How do the payments work?

Each month, you’ll first see your solar credits applied to your utility account, reducing or eliminating your electric bill. Next, we’ll send you a statement that verifies that credit amount and what you’ll pay us for those credits at the fixed discount rate. On the 30th of the month that payment to us will be processed automatically. We enroll our members in autopay for convenience and simplicity, so beyond signing up your savings are entirely hands-free! There’s nothing else you will ever be charged for aside from the previous month’s credits, as the cost of all maintenance and necessary repairs are on us. The average household saves ~10% on their annual electricity costs.

For example, Nick joined a community solar garden and is excited to start saving on his monthly utility bill. The solar project started generating energy on November 1, and on Nick’s December utility bill, he saw a solar credit of $100. At the end of December, Nick will pay $90 to the project (Novel) for that credit, saving 10%!

Where do I find my premise number?

Your premise number can be found on pg 2 of your monthly utility bill under the ‘Electricity Service Details’ summary.

What happens if a year is very cloudy or energy production is low?

You only   pay for the energy that is produced. This means that if production is low, you may not save as much money as expected, but you are not harmed financially. This structure incentivizes us to use quality materials and to maintain the solar garden properly. Keep in mind that not all years will   produce the same amount of energy. Some years may have less energy, and some years may produce more, but as long as the garden is producing energy you are saving money.

How does it work?

When you join a community solar garden, you'll be assigned a share of the solar panels to meet your electricity needs, based on your annual kWh energy use. Each month as your share produces electricity, the amount of electricity generated is applied to your utility bill in the form of a solar credit, deducting it from the amount you'd owe to your utility. One month later, you pay us back for the credits you received at a fixed discount rate, saving you money and directly supporting this local renewable energy project.

What is a community solar garden?

A Community Solar Garden (CSG) is a solar array that supplies electricity into the local power grid. Subscribers to the CSG earn solar credits on their utility bill even though the CSG is not located on their property. When you subscribe to a CSG, you will be supporting 100% clean energy while cutting your electricity costs by approximately 10%.

How do I become a member of a community solar garden?

Becoming a member is easy. To start, fill out the form here. One of our team members will contact you to help finish the   application process and answer any questions you may have. 

Next, we'll help you fill out and electronically sign a few documents to reserve your spot in the garden at no charge. Novel will follow up to confirm when you're signed   up, review monthly credit processing, and you'll receive a personalized login   to your online solar membership account.