David Ganske

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Maryland Community Solar: Costs and Savings Explained

So you are thinking about signing up for Community Solar, but you aren’t sure how the costs and savings will actually impact your household expenses? You’ve come to the right place and you are not alone.

The new Maryland Community Solar Program may be confusing at first, but it offers immense benefits for those who join.

What is Community Solar?

Community Solar is a program that allows households to receive a portion of their electricity needs from a solar farm. The solar farms, or rows of solar panels about the size of a football field, are being developed outside of Preston and Snow Hill. Households like yours, including those who rent, can join these solar farms to lower your electricity costs and support renewable energy on the Eastern Shore.

The Maryland Public Service Commission adopted this program with the goal of extending solar benefits, including a lower electricity bill, to households that either couldn’t or didn’t want to put solar on their roof. Plus, there are additional benefits for low- and moderate-income customers so that the savings go to the people who could use it most.

Subscription Cost and Credits Explained

Firstly, there is no cost to join, just the price per kilowatt-hour that you pay for your portion of the electricity generated from the solar farm. Your subscription price fluctuates, but always stays at your fixed discount to the credit that you receive on your Delmarva Power bill.

For example, this means a price of $0.1197/kWh with a credit of $0.1330/kWh for the “Gold Plan” (which equates to a 10% discount). Both of these rates are adjusted every six months based approved electricity rates in Maryland, but we keep the discount percentage intact meaning that there is no chance that you pay more for solar.

The table below shows the current solar rates and the corresponding credit that you will receive on your bill for each kilowatt-hour of usage.

ForeFront Power Community Solar Rates


Product NameDiscountTermDPL Credit RateNew Solar RateSavings*
Silver Plan5%2$0.1330$0.1264$0.0067
Gold Plan10%5$0.1330$0.1197$0.0133

*How did we calculate the savings? Subtract the credit rate from the solar rate.

Rates for Low to Moderate Income (LMI) Customers


Product NameDiscountTermDPL Credit RateNew Solar RateSavings
Silver Plan LMI10%2$0.1330$0.1197$0.0133
Gold Plan LMI15%5$0.1330$0.1131$0.0200

Solar Rates

For example, if you choose the “Gold Plan” with a 10% discount and a five-year term, you will pay $0.1197 per kilowatt-hour for your portion of the electricity from the Community Solar farm. For each kilowatt-hour, you will also receive a credit of $0.1330 per kilowatt-hour on your Delmarva Power electricity bill.

With a difference of $0.0133, this translates to $127.68 in savings each year on your electricity costs for the average household in Maryland (12,000 kilowatt-hours of usage each year with 9,600 kilowatt-hours supplied by the Community Solar farm). We size your subscription at 80% of your historical usage to ensure that you don’t get more solar energy than you can consume.

For households that qualify as low- to moderate income customers, the way it works is the same except you would get a lower rate for solar, and therefore, more savings.

Delmarva Bill Credit

Each month, ForeFront Power works behind the scenes with Delmarva Power to ensure that your solar energy consumption is accurately reflected on your bill in the form of a credit.

Continuing the example from above, let’s say that you use 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity during a month with Delmarva Power and you are enrolled in a Community Solar project under the “Gold Plan” with a 10% discount (800 kilowatt-hours of solar each month). You would then see the following line items on your Delmarva Power bill.

Sample Delmarva Power Bill with Community Solar “Gold Plan” (10% Discount)


Utility Charge TypeUsage (kWh)Rate ($/kWh)Amount
Customer Charge – $             8.17
Energy Charge1000 $       0.077653947 $           77.65
Distribution Charge1000 $       0.062200000 $           62.20
Energy Wise Rewards – $        (32.00)
Environmental Surcharge1000 $       0.000150000 $             0.15
EmPower Md Charge1000 $       0.006786000 $             6.79
Administrative Credit1000 $       0.000496200 $           (0.50)
Universal Service Program – $             0.36
MD Franchise Tax1000 $       0.000620000 $             0.62
Grid Resiliency Charge1000 $       0.000040000 $             0.04
Community Solar Credit800 $       0.133000000 $      (106.40)
Total1000 $       0.013547777  $           17.08

Notice in the table that this customer received a $106.40 bill credit for 800 kilowatt-hours of usage during the month. Instead of paying Delmarva Power $123.48, this customer now is paying the utility only $17.08 for the month!

It is important to know that the $106.40 is not all savings because you still need to pay ForeFront Power for those 800 kilowatt-hours of electricity from the Community Solar farm. For the “Gold Plan”, this would cost $95.76 and translate to a savings of $10.64 for the month.

Savings Calculation

Here is how we calculated the Delmarva Power credit:

800 kWh solar  x  0.1330 DPL Credit  = $106.40

And here is how your solar costs to ForeFront Power are calculated:

800 kWh solar  x    0.1197 solar rate = $95.76

The difference results in your net savings:

$106.40 (Credit) – $95.76 (Solar Cost) = $10.64 (Monthly Savings)

The Savings Add Up

It may seem like a lot of complexity to save $10.64 each month, but ForeFront Power handles all of this behind the scenes. Once you sign up, everything is automated, so you won’t need to worry about your solar energy bill each month or the way that Delmarva Power is crediting you.

More importantly, those savings each month mean a lot over time. The “Gold Plan” results a whopping total of $638.40 in estimated savings. Now that’s some extra money that can go to more important things!

If you qualify as a low- to moderate-income customer, the “Gold Plan” plus an additional 5% discount (15% total) would result in $957.60 in electricity savings!

Join Today

You can now enroll in one of ForeFront Power’s Community Solar farms by following the link below to review the plans available to you. Our team will follow up with more details and what to expect. Remember, there is no cost to join and there are no hidden or monthly fees.

You would simply pay for your portion of the solar farm’s electricity (in kilowatt-hours) while you get credited for that same amount of electricity onto your Delmarva Power bill.

Questions? Feel free to reach us via email at MDCustomerCare@forefrontpower.com or by phone at (410) 442-6127.