Charge Your EV with Solar Energy; No Rooftop Required
Electric vehicles and solar energy are a compelling combination, offering drivers the opportunity to achieve fully emissions-free transportation. And while a study shows as many as 40 percent of EV drivers in the United States and Europe have home solar power, installing solar panels isn’t possible for everyone. Now, there’s another option — a new solar subscription program.
KCP&L recently debuted a Solar Subscription service — a low-cost monthly subscription that allows you to support clean energy through solar power, without the need to install solar panels on your home.
Prospective participants may be renters, homeowners who live in areas that prohibit solar panels or homeowners whose roof doesn’t present a favorable enough “solar window” to justify the cost. And some may be planning the addition of home solar, but aren’t quite ready to make the investment.
Here’s how the Solar Subscription program works:
- Participants subscribe to solar panel shares — up to 50 percent of your 12-month energy usage. The panels will reside in a solar array in the Kansas City area.
- The subscription may increase your monthly energy costs between $5 to $15, which supports a designated solar array in the Kansas City metro.
- Your subscription helps provide clean energy through solar power in Missouri and Kansas.
Driving an electric vehicle and relying on home solar have similar environmental impacts, encouraging a focus on renewable energy and reducing your carbon footprint. It’s no surprise consumers who show an interest in one technology are also interested in the other.
“The Solar Subscription program will allow customers to support renewable energy by directly offsetting their energy consumption without needing to pay for and maintain panels — or even owning a home.”
“Many of our customers have been looking for additional avenues to support renewable energy,” said Drew Robinson, manager of renewable electrification at KCP&L. “The Solar Subscription program will allow customers to do just that by directly offsetting their energy consumption without needing to pay for and maintain panels — or even owning a home. With enough demand for the program, we’ll look to expand the size and number of resources in hopes of driving down subscription costs.”
Subscribers can lock in a fixed rate for the electricity generated from the solar. While the standard electricity rate may fluctuate over time, the portion of energy that comes from your Solar Subscription is fixed for the term of your participation in the program — up to 20 years.
Utility “community solar” or “shared solar” projects have surged in recent years. The Smart Electric Power Alliance reports 228 utilities in 36 states have some variation of a shared solar program. Surveys from the same organization show as many as 90 percent of customers are interested in learning about these opportunities. And according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, more than 1,266 megawatts have been installed in the United States from community solar programs.
KCP&L is currently offering pre-sign up for the Solar Subscription program at kcpl.com/solarsubscription. Registering is non-committal and simply holds a spot for the program. Solar Subscription was approved by the Missouri Public Service Commission (MPSC) in November 2018. Pending approval from the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC), construction is expected to begin in late 2019.