Electricity Cost Savings Opportunity – State of Maine Program

Sprague-Green-Energy-Program-Logo.pngAn Act To Promote Solar Energy Projects and Distributed Generation Resources in Maine

Maine businesses can save on electricity costs and support solar energy with no upfront costs or system modifications. Maine Governor Janet Mills signed into law LD 1711 to Promote Solar Energy Projects and Distributed Generation Resources. The legislation encourages Community Solar Energy Projects support, and promotes the use of clean, renewable energy.  

About the Program

How does it work? Businesses commit to purchasing electricity derived from a solar project, and then receive solar energy credits on their monthly utility invoices.  

Why does it matter?  Local businesses can save on electricity costs, lock in energy rates, support sustainable energy, and do so with no upfront costs or system modifications.

Who is eligible? Businesses that use Central Maine Power or Versant Power for their electricity.

What's the timing? This state-sponsored program is live now, but availability will likely run out within a year. Many municipalities and larger organizations are already taking advantage. Other states have done similar programs successfully. We encourage you to strongly consider it before the opportunity is gone. 

How can I sign up?

  • Send Sprague electronic copies of your most recent electricity invoices that you want to include in the program. 
  • Sprague will review available projects and provide you with a savings estimate based on the number of solar credits you would like to purchase. 
  • Agreements will be reviewed and signed. 
  • Credits, savings and payments will begin when the project becomes operational, most likely in the first or second quarter of 2021. 

More Details

Solar Project Developers are eligible for significant utility credits if they build small solar electricity projects and push the derived electricity to the utility grids. In order for the developers to turn the credits they earn into cash, they sell them to businesses like yours at a discounted rate.  

For example, if you normally spend $100,000 a year on electricity, you could decide to commit conservatively to an annual solar credits buy of $70,000. You’d then purchase $70,000 worth of credits for the going rate, let’s say it’s 85 cents on the dollar, or $59,500.  Assuming your annual electricity usage came in at the typical $100,000, you would pay for $70,000 of that annual bill of  $100,000 using the credits, and the other $30,000 like usual. In this scenario, your annual savings would be $10,500, or a little over 10%, because you bought $70,000 worth of credits for only $59,500. 

Although the legislation requires 20-year contracts, Sprague has negotiated early termination rights without penalties. 

Each month, your utility invoice will show a solar program credit and using the example above, you would pay the solar developer 85% of the value of the credit - it's that simple. 

Important Items

If you purchase too many annual credits, you will not receive the full value of the credit and may be liable to a project developer for a higher contracted rate. You should purchase only 70 - 90% of your historic spend to provide protection in the event you use less power for any reason.

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