Considering Installing A Renewable System?
Yes? Maybe? Call Tricounty first to make sure it's right for you.
Recently, a solar company targeted Tricounty’s territory and members, soliciting the installation of residential solar arrays that promise to save up to 60 percent on your electric bill. A common sales pitch is that the company sells the service, that they will take care of everything, and that there is no need for you, the member, to do anything. Members have also been told not to contact Tricounty.
Sounds good, right? It's too good to be true. There are a lot of potential pitfalls and problems overlooked in this plan that will end up costing the member in the longrun.
Tricounty is here to assist our members with renewable system installations by providing information and requirements so that our members can make a well-informed decision. We will help you meet your goals while maintaining the reliablity, safety, and integrity of our electric system.
We recommend you:
- DO your research and ask questions.
- DO it for the right reasons, which will be different for everyone.
- DO contact Tricounty in advance. As your local energy expert, we can offer one-on-one advice.
Tricounty's Process for Installing a Residential Solar Array:
- Tricounty’s member or property owner must contact Tricounty in advance. We do not sell renewable systems, but we can point you in the correct direction.
- It's important to note that renewable systems involve a significant initial investment and vary greatly depending on the system you choose and your home's setup. The first step is always to conduct an energy audit to make sure your home is as energy efficient as possible. You want to reduce your usage first to make sure you can install the smallest system possible to meet your generation needs, without oversizing and overpaying. This will reduce the size requirements of the solar equipment. Energy efficiency upgrades, such as adding insulation or changing out lightbulbs to LEDs, have a much faster payback than installing solar equipment.
- Tricounty provides our member with the cooperative’s policies and technical guidelines that must be followed.
- Both an application for a distributed resource and an agreement for interconnection and parallel operation of a net metered qualifying facility must be executed by the member in advance.
- Tricounty will explain the Ohio kWh tax responsibilities, liability insurance requirements, and Tricounty’s net billing rates to the member.
- The contractor provides Tricounty with the system specifications and one-line diagrams of the system.
- Tricounty reviews the submitted documents and determines if a system study will be required.
- Tricounty will approve or disapprove the installation to be interconnected to our system.
- If approved, and when the project is completed, Tricounty will do a final inspection to ensure main disconnects are installed and accessible to Tricounty and verify Tricounty is listed as an additional insured on the member’s liability insurance policy before interconnection is allowed.
- Upon satisfactory inspection, Tricounty will change out the meter to a bidirectional meter and convert the member’s account to a net metered account with the appropriate rates and facility charges.
Tax Credits for Installations
While installation can be expensive, tax credits can help you reduce the cost of your wind or solar system. Learn more from energy.gov
The purchase of a small solar energy system is eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit through 2019. The tax credit decreases to 26 percent in 2020, then to 22 percent in 2021, and expires on Dec. 31, 2021. If you opt for a solar equipment lease, consider that you will not be eligible for this tax benefit, since you will not own the solar energy system. However, you will want to explore whether you get all or part of this tax benefit applied to your base rate. You can search for additional state, local, or utility incentives on the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE).
For more information or to get started, please call 419-256-7900.
Recent attempts by Solar Companies to Con Our Members:
Read the full article from Ohio Cooperative Living magazine to know when a deal sounds "too good to be true"
Tricounty's Current Renewables Assets
Did you know a part of your power is generated from anaerobic digesters at livestock farms, gas generation from landfills, solar arrays, and hydro and wind power? We are committed to safe, reliable, affordable, and economically sustainable power production that is also environmentally responsible.
Ohio’s co-ops take a balanced approach to renewable energy. While we continue to support and utilize affordable coal-fired generation for the bulk of our power, Buckeye Power and its member cooperatives have made significant investments in renewable energy on behalf of Ohio co-op families.
OurSolar Community Array
Tricounty Rural Electric Cooperative has a community solar array. It’s part of the Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives' OurSolar program, which features 2.1 mW of solar arrays throughout Ohio.
We know members wanted solar, but didn't necessary want the high costs and heavy maintenance associated with owning their own arrays. The answer? OurSolar - the best of both worlds.
Click here for more information on OurSolar and to view live production data.