You live in the Dallas and Fort Worth area and are looking at solar. One of the major considerations that you should look into is the relationship that you have with your Retail Energy Provider (REP). Even though you go solar, you will still be connected to your utility company.
Why is the REP Important?
Even though you will have solar, you will still be connected to the grid. This is important because the sun is only up during the day, and at night, you still need to get electricity to power your home. Due to this fact, you want to make sure you know how things will change with your utility bill after getting solar installed.
What Fees Should I Look For?
There are two fees you should be on the lookout for with your REP. The first fee is a connection fee. No matter what utility you have, you most likely will have a connection fee after going solar. The second fee is the price per kWh that you can sell your power to the REP for.
What is This Connection Fee?
Simple, it’s the fee that the utility company attaches to your bill for the privilege of accessing the grid. Majority of the time, is somewhere between $3-$9 a month. Your REP is the company that determines this price. This isn’t exclusive to Dallas or even Texas as a state either…every state has this fee associated with the utility companies. The reason for having this fee is maintenance. Even though you have solar, you still access the grid for night time power, and that grid requires upkeep to provide electricity safely to your home. Yes, when you go solar, you will still have a utility bill and will still be charged something. It’s not much and to be frank, the savings benefit of having solar greatly outweighs this small connection fee.
The Surplus Buy Back Rate
The second fee we mentioned is what is known as the “excess distributed renewable generation”. In simple terms, this is the surplus of electricity that your solar panel system will make. This is important because not all REPs will buy back the electricity that you have over produced during the day. Some do at a 1 for 1 rate, which means if you buy electricity at night for $0.12 a kWh, then you sell it also at $0.12 a kWh.
What Do I Do About It?
There are two solutions for you. The first is to find out if your REP buys back the excess electricity, and if it doesn’t, then switch to a REP that will.
The second option is to have a system that is sized smaller than 100%. What this will do is provide power for your home during the day when you will most use the electricity and can make the electricity, and avoid the costs of running your home when the sun is out. Then at night, you can buy the electricity from your REP to power your home. That is why many systems are sized about 50% because that will offset the daytime use and not produce excess electricity.
Is a 50% Sized System Good?
We believe that any number of solar panels on your roof is a better option than no solar panels. The real question is whether the cost makes sense. Simply put, yes it does and here is why. The cost of electricity from utilities will increase over time, and by getting solar on your roof, you can avoid that increase in cost for future years. Here is an article that explains more about that. Article Here
To give yourself the best solution, work with a company that is honest and willing to help walk you through multiple options to determine what the best solution is for you. At Solar Brothers, we look into your utility company and will help you determine what options you have for going solar. We offer, several products to choose from with several different financing options. On top of that, we will help you navigate your relationship with the REPs because that will determine what size system will make the most sense for you and your home.
Give us a call and set up an appointment to find out how we can help.