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Neighborhood Sun

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LAST UPDATED: February 27th, 2024

Neighborhood Sun is a grassroots, state-supported clean energy provider. Community members in Maryland, New Jersey, and New York can join Neighborhood Sun for free and choose a local community solar farm to join. 

In short, Neighborhood Sun’s particular business model and free startup and cancellation make it an especially attractive option for those who don’t qualify to install solar panels on their own residence.

Read on for the good, the bad, and the bottom line about Neighborhood Sun. And if you have used Neighborhood Sun for solar energy, please consider leaving a review below! 

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The Good

  • Available to Homeowners and Renters
  • Guaranteed Energy Bill Savings
  • Free to Join and Cancel
  • Certified B-Corporation

Availability to Homeowners and Renters

Most solar companies offer solar energy through a new solar power system that gets installed at the customer’s home. This usually requires customers to own their home, and that their home is a single-family, freestanding house. 

Neighborhood Sun is available to anyone in the company’s service area with an electricity bill from a major utility company, even if they rent or lease a home. This is because customers get credit for energy produced at the community solar farm that they join, rather than energy produced on their own property.

To summarize: no solar panels are going on your home, and you don’t have to own your home to utilize community solar. 

Guaranteed Energy Bill Savings

It might seem too good to be true, but Neighborhood Sun explains how it can save customers between 5 and 30 percent of their monthly utility bill, depending on energy use and income, with no upfront cost. 

A share of the farm’s energy output is assigned to each Neighborhood Sun customer. The customer’s share of the farm’s energy output is credited to their electricity bill each month, and they pay Neighborhood Sun for the energy they receive. 

According to the Neighborhood Sun website, the amount of a customer’s leftover electricity bill, plus the money they pay Neighborhood Sun, is less than the customer’s previous energy bill, guaranteed.

You pay Neighborhood Sun for your share via a separate bill each month, followed by your (discounted) energy bill from your utility company. The company is working to implement consolidated billing to simplify things from the customer’s end in all service area states, but New York is the only one allowing for that right now. 

Free to Join and Cancel

There’s no cost to join Neighborhood Sun or to cancel. This lowers the barrier of entry for those who are interested in solar energy, compared to buying or leasing a new solar power system.

The free cancellation makes it easier to commit since those who find Neighborhood Sun doesn’t work for them can cancel without paying any penalty. The same cannot be said for solar leasing and PPAs (power purchase agreements). 

Certified B-Corporation

Certified B-Corporations are businesses that balance profits with generating a positive impact for their employees, communities, and the environment. Some of the purposes B-Corporations work toward include lowering poverty, improving the environment, and reducing inequality. Neighborhood Sun’s mission is to increase access to solar energy, thereby improving the environment. Part of that includes providing only online billing, which saves paper.

To be a Certified B-Corporation, a company has to obtain a minimum score on the B Impact Assessment, which scores the company’s effect on its employees, customers, community, and the environment. Certified B-Corporation is held to high standards of performance, legal accountability, and public transparency.

According to the Neighborhood Sun website, the company has the highest B-Corporation rating for community solar companies in the United States.


The Bad

  • Small Service Area
  • Limited Billing Options
  • Needs Customer Reviews

Small Service Area

Neighborhood Sun is currently available only to customers located in certain areas of Maryland, New York, and New Jersey. Hopefully, the service area will continue to expand so that more customers can take advantage of this community solar business model. 

Limited Billing Options

While many companies allow customers to choose between paper and electronic billing as well as between automated and non-automated payments, Neighborhood Sun customers have only the option of electronic billing and automated payments. This saves paper and prevents late payments, but some customers may prefer to receive a paper bill and choose when to pay it.

Needs Customer Reviews

While Neighborhood Sun seems like an awesome option for people looking to go solar, verified customer reviews are needed to illustrate how the company approaches communication, customer service, and challenging situations. 


The Bottom Line

Neighborhood Sun is a solar company that operates differently than many others. 

Through Neighborhood Sun, anyone who lives in the company’s service area and receives a bill from a major utility company can pay for a share of a local solar farm’s energy output.

Neighborhood Sun’s unique business model makes solar available to people who aren’t typically served by the solar industry, especially those who rent their homes, or those who don’t want to commit to buying and installing their own solar power system. 

It’s free to join Neighborhood Sun, eliminating the high cost of entry that’s typically required for taking advantage of solar power. It’s also free to cancel, which should put customers who are on the fence at ease.

Unfortunately, the company’s service area is relatively small — currently, it only services regions of Maryland, New York, and New Jersey.

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jrose Silver Spring, MD

The above review is incorrect. You subscribe to a portion of their community solar array located nearby (not on your roof), Neighborhood Sun pays the power company the retail rate for a portion of the kWh on your bill each month (based on what your fraction of solar panels produced). Then Neighborhood Sun bills you 90% of what they paid the power company. Their prices are NOT inflated -- it is the same retail rate, and they give you a fixed 10% discount on it. Totally worth subscribing to community solar in general, and Neighborhood Sun in particular.

1 month ago

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Robert Unfug Windsor, CO

Seems like a bait and switch. You pay them a higher rate for solar and they discount that. I remain skeptical. They dont seem to guarantee a lower total cost, just 10% off their ?inflated? price?

10 months ago