Adding rooftop solar to your house is an investment of time and money comparable to the commitment you made when purchasing the property. Think back to that time: You looked for the right place at the right price. You found out as much about it as you could. You sought a trusted source to lend their expertise in matters they understood. You had a thorough understanding before you signed the mortgage papers. You should do the same before signing a solar contract.
To help determine whether rooftop solar is right for you, consider this:
- Overall energy efficiency of your home/building
- Orientation of the sun in relation to the home/building
- Tree coverage near the home
- Weather patterns for the region
- Return on investment
We encourage SWRE members to do research on solar providers and request several quotes before signing a contract to install rooftop solar panels on your home.
Questions you should ask a salesperson before you sign anything:
- What is the proposed electric rate? What is the inflation rate used? How do these compare with my current electric rate?
- What estimated cost is used for the excess energy produced? SWRE purchases energy supplied by the member at the cooperative's current avoided energy cost.
- Is there a large upfront payment required or are fees spread out over time?
- Will I own the panels or will they be leased?
- Are there any hidden costs like replacing the roof before installation? What about marketing, advertising or research fees?
- Are there ongoing maintenance fees?
- Are there rebates or other financial incentives available?
- Are the estimated energy savings worth the investment?
- Is it more cost effective to invest in other energy-saving measures?
Keep in mind that proposals that claim that your electric bill will equal $0 after installing solar panels are incorrect. All members of Southwest Rural Electric pay a monthly fee to help cover fixed costs like poles, wires and transformers -- all equipment that is required to provide power whenever you need it.
We know our members are very interested in green energy sources and renewables. If you'd like to explore solar energy without the hassle of equipment and maintenance, check out SWRE's Community Solar Project.
Western Farmers Electric Cooperative (WFEC), Southwest Rural Electric’s wholesale power supplier, is a leader in the integration of renewable energy that benefits all of our members. Most recently, 250 MW of wind energy from the Skeleton Creek project was added with an additional 250 MW of solar energy and 200 MW of battery storage to be completed by 2023. After the next phases are complete, WFEC’s planned generation portfolio will consist of over 300 MW of solar generation, 957 MW of wind generation and 268 MW of hydro-electric generation.
As your trusted energy provider, SWRE is here to help you determine what option is best for you and we welcome your questions. Give us a call today at 1-800-256-7973.