Message From Your Manager
Are You Considering Solar?
Alan Lesley, General Manager
THE IDEA OF GENERATING YOUR OWN ELECTRIC POWER with a personal renewable energy system is appealing to many, and in our area of the country, small solar photovoltaic systems are the most popular choices. Investing in your own generation, even on a small scale, is a big decision that deserves careful thought.
Do research and know the facts before buying one of these systems. Consider your location. Location is everything when it comes to the actual production of these renewable systems. If you’re installing a solar PV system, make sure it is in an area completely free of shade at all hours of the day. This will maximize the output levels.
Get all the details from the salesperson in writing and don’t depend on him or her as your sole source of information. Experts advise ignoring peak output numbers provided by vendors, as they are generally based on ideal situations that rarely exist.
Find out the total installed cost of the system—parts, installation and interconnection—and the amount of maintenance required before you make a purchase. If the system has a warranty, be sure you know what it covers and what it doesn’t cover. You want one that covers parts and labor. Don’t hesitate to ask for names and contact information for individuals in your area who have purchased similar systems from the same vendor. Ask them about performance and reliability.
Know the rules your cooperative has for distributed generation systems, and don’t depend on the salesperson to provide those rules or any buy-back rates to you. Currently, CECA does not purchase excess production but will credit the member account back to zero at retail rates. A copy of the CECA distributed generation policy is available upon request.
Because certain safety and metering protocols must be in place before any interconnection, it is imperative that the cooperative be made aware of the DG system. But it is also a good idea to have cooperative staff involved so they can provide you with unbiased information. CECA’s Member Services Department employs qualified staff who specialize in helping members who are installing DG systems; use the expertise they have developed over the years to your advantage. We are committed to providing you the best answers and to becoming your “one-stop shop” for all things power-related.
Our staff has worked with members to install these systems and can provide you with advice on this big decision. If you are considering installing a personal renewable system, call CECA at 1-800-915-2533, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by our Comanche office at 201 W. Wrights Ave.