Frequently asked questions
Q: who can participate?
Currently, anyone who pays a National Grid bill can sign up. Most of our customers are residential homeowners and small businesses. Larger businesses may also be able to participate, depending on the size of electrical load. Get in touch and we’ll be glad to help.
Q: Does it cost more?
No. The difference is in where your dollar goes, not how much you pay.
Q: How will I know?
You will always receive your regular utility bill and view your regular charges. This bill will also reflect a credit for the value of the energy we’ve generated on your behalf. Every month, you can see both the value of the credits you received and how much you paid for them through NP&L.
Q: What is Community Renewables/Community Distributed Generation (CDG)?
CDG is a program created by New York State government that allows a group of people to support one, larger, renewable energy project. Each month you receive credits on your Utility bill representing your share of the project’s generation. You pay us for those credits and we pay the generator.
q: Will I still be a customer of national grid / nyseg?
Yes, you will continue to receive the same reliable electrical service from your utility. They will continue to bill you and will still be your primary contact for anything involving your electrical service, including reporting power outages.
q: Are you an Energy Services Company (ESCO) like Ambit, Veridian, Constellation, etc?
No, ESCOs purchase energy from generators and resell it to utility customers. Northern Power & Light directly connects you with a local generator and you own a portion of the generator’s output.
q: Yeah, OK, but aren’t you just another middleman?
Sort of, but our roots are in small-scale Adirondack hydro development and ownership. Northern Power & Light was created in response to the unique requirements and costs of serving many small customers. We provide a platform which allows generators to connect to users easily, sharing the costs of customer management and keeping costs low for everyone.
Q: There are a lot of shady “green energy” providers, how can I trust you?
Unfortunately there are many who have practiced aggressive sales tactics and promised cheap “green energy" that has in fact cost more. There are a few key differences that differentiate our business:
We are a member of your community and our generators have been responsible North Country business owners for decades.
Most of those other companies are in the business of buying and selling electricity, we are in the business of making it.
We are not offering cheaper power, we are offering power that is made in your community from local, independent renewable facilities.
Our business model allows you to make an apples-to-apples comparison with your regular utility bill every month.
q: Is this similar to community solar?
Yes, solar companies offering community solar also utilize the Community Distributed Generation program.
q: Why should I support hydro instead of solar?
We support solar too! If we are going to reduce the environmental impact of our energy usage, we need to develop new renewable generation as well. At Northern Power & Light , we believe that maintaining the resources we already have is often the most sustainable practice. The North Country is blessed with a heavily timbered landscape with ample precipitation and elevation, and that means hydro generation.
q: What happens if I move?
If you move but remain within the same Utility service territory (we’ll help you figure that out!) you have the option to keep your service. If not, you may transfer it to a friend or cancel it.
q: Two bills? Really?
We know, it’s a bit inconvenient and we hope to offer a single bill in the future. We encourage you to set-up monthly autopayments to make things a bit easier. On the bright side, you can see the value of your power allocation and you know exactly where your money is going.
q: What if I already have solar on my roof?
Unfortunately, if you already have solar panels installed you cannot participate in a community renewables project, but thanks for your contribution to clean energy!
q: What if I already receive my electric supply from a third-party supplier (ESCO)?
As long as your ESCO charges appear on your regular utility bill, you can still participate in community renewables. If you receive a second bill from your ESCO, we will only be able to offset the charges which appear on your utility bill. We know it’s confusing, feel free to contact us and we’ll help you figure it out.
q: I am a small business. Can I use “renewable” or “powered by hydro” in my marketing?
We support truthful green marketing! In order for you to make such green marketing claims, we will need to provide you with “Renewable Energy Certificates” (RECs) in addition to electricity. If you would like to market your product or service in this way let us know and we’ll be glad to help you meet your needs.
q: How do I cancel my service?
You may cancel your subscription at any time. We do ask that you give us 60 days notice, to give us time to find a new customer to take the energy previously allocated to you.