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Customer Benefit Contribution (CBC) Charge in New York State for 2024

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Going solar is a major step towards sustainability,energy independence, and saving money on your utility bills. But navigating the nuances of your utility bill post-solar installation can sometimes be a little bit confusing. One line item that customers tend to question  is the Customer Benefit Contribution (CBC) charge. 

In this blog post, we’ll demystify the CBC, break down how it’s calculated, and explore its implications for residents in New York State for the year 2024, as well as help you to understand your utility bill post solar install.

The Customer Benefit Contribution is a distinct charge that appears on your utility bill once you’ve installed solar power. In simple terms, this charge is determined by multiplying the size of your solar system by a specific monthly charge set by your utility company.

Notably, this charge is NOT based on the kilowatt-hours that your solar system generates; it is based on the size, or DC nameplate rating,  of your system.

It should be mentioned that you were already paying this charge before you decided to go solar as well, it just showed up on your bill as an SBC (System Benefits Charge) charge at that time. The SBC charge goes toward funding renewable energy projects and grants, so even if you haven’t gone solar, you are technically already paying for it. When you go solar, however, you benefit from receiving a significant grant to offset your system costs from NYS.

In New York State, the major utility companies  include Central Hudson, Con Edison, National Grid, NYSEG, and Orange and Rockland. Each of these utilities has a different CBC charge.

Breaking Down the CBC 

Let’s take a closer look at the Customer Benefit Contribution. According to the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA), residential and small commercial customers who connect solar PV after January 1, 2022, will be subject to this new billing item. 

The CBC does not apply to those who interconnected solar PV systems before 2022, front-of-the-meter projects such as community solar, or commercial accounts with a demand charge. To simplify, every homeowner who installs solar today will be subject to the CBC charge. 

Importantly, the CBC rates change annually, and customers unfortunately do not lock in a rate at the time of system interconnection.

Crunching the Numbers: An Example in Central Hudson Territory

To better illustrate, let’s consider an example. 

In Central Hudson territory, the average sized  10 kW solar system incurs a Basic Service Charge, or meter charge, of $19.50 per month, which is a fixed cost that everyone pays just for being connected to the grid. 

The CBC charge for this system is then calculated by multiplying Central Hudson’s current CBC rate ($1.37) by the total kW size of the system (10 kW), resulting in a CBC charge of $13.70 per month.

So, on your monthly bill post solar, you’d see fixed charges of $19.50 for the meter, and $13.70 for the CBC, totaling $33.20.  

These two charges will be the only two fixed charges on your utility bill after going solar. Most of our customers are able to achieve 100% offset of their kilowatt hour needs when they go solar, and thus these two charges are the only charges they incur at all from their utility company. 

If your home is not able to produce 100% of your energy needs with solar, however, the utility will also charge you for any excess energy you need to purchase from them, just as they do today.

If you have any more questions on how the CBC charge works, see this link to a CBC PDF so you can check it out.

Power Your Home with New York State Solar Farm

Despite the CBC charge, homeowners who decide to go solar still save a significant amount of money on their utility bills. Most from day one.

Ready to see how much you can save, and to take control of your energy future? Consider making the switch to solar with New York State Solar Farm. Our team is dedicated to providing sustainable energy solutions that empower you and contribute to a greener planet. Explore your solar options today and join the renewable energy revolution! 

Understanding the Customer Benefit Contribution charge is key to managing expectations and making informed decisions when transitioning to solar energy in New York State. Stay informed, stay sustainable!

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As a homeowner, one of the best investments you can make is in solar energy. With energy costs at an all time high and continuing to rise, solar panel systems can save you money from day one. Homes with solar also sell for more given their cost savings & environmental benefits. Solar just makes sense.

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