A Canandaigua church and the town of Naples are among those promoting the community solar option

Solar farms are popping up across the state, and so are programs using solar power. You don’t necessarily have to put panels on your property or make an investment — households and small businesses can sign on to a community solar program to save money on electricity costs. Community programs pool the solar power generated by multiple solar farms. Those in a program share in the electricity generated by those farms — and benefit through savings on their electricity bill.

In Ontario County, programs include one discussed this week in Naples for New York State Electric & Gas customers. Another program, for customers of Rochester Gas & Electric, will be the subject of a meeting Sunday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Canandaigua. Both programs are free to join and guarantee savings on electricity costs.

On Wednesday, about 40 Naples residents turned out at Naples High School to learn about a program through Solar Farms New York. Annie Almekinder, a member of the Naples Big Green Committee promoting environmental causes, said the program offers savings for subscribers while promoting renewable energy. The committee researched companies offering community solar programs and working with Cornell Cooperative Extension, and Solar Farms New York came recommended, she said.

Solar Farms New York guarantees 5 percent savings on solar credits applied to each subscriber’s NYSEG bill. As with other programs of its kind, there are additional incentives as well. A $50 gift card will go to each new subscriber using a Naples promotion code. Solar Farms New York will also contribute $100 to the town of Naples for each new subscriber to help fund sustainable community projects.

Almekinder mentioned projects the Naples Big Green Committee is working on to slash the amount of trash and food waste going to the Ontario County landfill, such as community composting and programs with the school district. Megan Webster, who is also on the committee, said the contributions could help bring in even more money by applying the funds toward matching grants.

Solar Farms New York is sourcing its solar from a number of farms that include one planned in the town of Middlesex. Questions about the program came up at the meeting and information is available online, as well as by calling Solar Farms New York.

On Sunday, at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Canandaigua, RG&E customers will learn about a program through Abundant Energy Inc. Subscribers are guaranteed a 10 percent discount for every solar credit applied on their electricity bill. The church will receive a $50 donation for each member who joins using the special promotion code.

Four Abundant solar farms in the region are generating electricity, in Ogden, East Bloomfield, Macedon and Williamson. Once connected, subscribers can view their solar production, cost savings and environmental impact through Abundant Energy’s solar portal. The Unitarian Universalist Church of Canandaigua has enrolled in the program. An Abundant Energy representative will be on hand at the session Sunday at 11:15 a.m. at the church to explain the program and answer questions.