With climate change being the defining issue of our time and a rapid growth in renewable energy options, now more than ever people are becoming more conscious of their energy choices. With so many options, however, it is easy to be uncertain about what option is best for supporting green energy at a reasonable cost.

At Nexamp, we frequently get asked if we are an energy service company (ESCO). Since the late 1990s, ESCOs have been signing up customers in states with deregulated electricity markets, offering lower electricity rates than their local utility supplier. Some ESCOs bring their customers benefits but others have come under scrutiny from state Attorneys General over allegations that ESCOs charge more for electricity supply in the long run.

Nexamp is not an ESCO but community solar is compatible with ESCOs in most states. For some consumers, signing up with an ESCO that offers green energy (often a Community Choice Aggregator or “CCA”) plus subscribing to a community solar farm is the right mix for supporting green energy.

Here’s what you need to know:

What are ESCOs?

ESCOs were created as a way to introduce competition in deregulated state energy markets. If you’re not familiar with the term, a deregulated energy market basically means that you, as an energy consumer, are allowed to tell your utility company that you want your power from a specific supplier at a certain supply rate. ESCOs generate electricity or purchase electricity on the open market for their customers. When you make the switch to an ESCO, your electricity is still delivered by your utility.

As mentioned above, many ESCOs offer a lower supply rate than the local utility but sometimes these rates can rise over time and end up costing customers more. This is why ESCOs have some under scrutiny in states like Massachusetts and New York.

Nexamp is not an ESCO…

… but you can be an ESCO customer and a community solar customer.

All of the electricity produced by our farms is fed into the local utility grid, generating credits for our subscribers. Those credits appear on your utility bill and help offset your supply charges, regardless of whether you are an ESCO customer or not.

Community Solar with Nexamp is different from ESCOs in that we guarantee savings on your annual electricity cost by charging you a discounted rate for the credits your share of the farm generates. Plus, as a subscriber, you’re supporting local clean energy generation in your community.

So, what’s the best option for supporting clean energy generation?

Many communities now offer Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) programs. CCAs pool collective buying power to source green energy from ESCOs at a lower supply rate. These programs are often opt-out for residents with the opportunity to opt-in for 100% green energy at a higher rate.

CCAs are excellent options if you want to ensure that your home is powered partially or fully by green energy. Adding community solar on top of a CCA allows you to give additional support to green energy in your community while saving money on electricity.

So, now you know how it works. At Nexamp, we’re not suppliers, we are clean energy generators. You can combine community solar and ESCOs to maximize your support of clean energy. Most importantly, we believe in doing right by our customers, which means we’ll never lock you into an annual contract, never charge you any upfront costs, and never charge you if you choose to walk away at any time.

If you’re interested in learning more about our community solar program, visit our community solar page or give us a call at (800) 945-5124 to talk to one of our knowledgeable team members.