Cooperative Solar FAQ
How does the program work?
The Cooperative Solar program is designed to give many of the same benefits as solar panels that are installed on your roof but without the common concerns of rooftop solar.
Participating Central Georgia EMC Customer-Owners can subscribe to a block of solar energy for $19 per month. Each block includes energy from 1kW.
The number of blocks you can purchase is unlimited.
The energy output from each block is approximately 114 to 186 kilowatt-hours (kWh) monthly. Energy production may be higher or lower due to the time of the year, the number of cloudy days in the month and other factors.
The energy output from each block will offset an equivalent amount of traditional power, allowing Customer-Owners to enjoy the benefits of renewable energy for an affordable price.
What is the cost of participating in the program?
$19 for each 1 kW block. The total number of subscribed blocks will be added to the Customer-Owners’ monthly bill.
Who is eligible to participate in the Central Georgia EMC Cooperative Solar program?
Residential Customer-Owners on the monthly billing program are eligible to participate. Customer-Owners enrolled in the Pre-Paid program are not eligible to participate.
Is there a contract?
No. Customer-Owners may cancel their participation in the program at any time. The cancelation may appear in the next billing cycle. Customer-Owners who cancel their participation will have to wait twelve (12) months before they can re-enter the program.
How am I going to be billed?
You will be billed an additional $19 per month for each block of solar energy in your regular electric bill. The $19 per block Cooperative Solar charge will appear as a separate line item on your bill. The kilowatt-hours produced by your block(s) in each calendar month will offset the same number of kilowatt-hours on your bill the following month. If your block(s) produces more kilowatt-hours than you use during your billing period, you will receive credit for the excess energy, according to the Distributed Generation Policy.
Where is the solar power generated?
The energy generated will come from a 52 Mega Watt AC solar power plant in Jeff Davis County, Georgia. Central Georgia EMC has designated the energy from this project to be used for the Cooperative Solar program.
Will the program reduce my electric bills?
The program is not designed to reduce electric bills. However, the program does offer an easy, affordable way to meet some of your electrical needs through clean, renewable energy. Although the output of the solar is netted against your home’s total consumption, and this will reduce your billed energy, the cost to produce the solar output is slightly higher than the cost of offset usage.
We are committed to providing Customer-Owners energy efficiency and conservation tools. An online energy audit is often the first step in making your home more efficient. An energy audit helps you assess how much energy your home uses and evaluate what measures you can take to improve efficiency.
Why should I be interested in Central Georgia EMC’s Cooperative Solar program?
The program makes the benefits of clean, green solar power more widely available. A standalone system may not be an option for many Customer-Owners, including renters or those whose rooftops are shaded by trees. Some other advantages of Cooperative Solar are:
Economies of scale bring costs down
No holes in the roof
No need to worry about the orientation of the roof
No long-term contract or financing
A convenient and affordable choice for Customer-Owners who live in apartments and would like to purchase solar energy
Homeowners under restrictive covenants can participate
How can I sign up for the program?
You can register online or by calling our office at 770-775-7857.
Is the solar power delivered directly to my home?
Solar arrays feed energy into the power grid. Once this energy is fed into the power grid, there is no distinction between the power generated elsewhere.
If I move, can I keep my Central Georgia EMC Cooperative Solar program subscription?
Yes, if you are moving to another household serviced by Central Georgia EMC. Please inform us that you would like to continue with the program when you disconnect your old service. You will not be able to continue your program subscription if you are moving out of the Central Georgia EMC service territory.
How will I know how much solar energy I received during the month?
Each month your bill will include a line item that details the Kilowatt-hour (kWh) amount of solar-generated the calendar month before based on the number of blocks you have purchased.
How will I know if I am enrolled in the program?
You will receive a welcome package from Central Georgia EMC along with a Cooperative Solar sticker to display in your window. Yard signs will also be available by request. Your neighbors will want to know more about your Cooperative Solar, and we encourage you to send them our way!
What is the difference between rooftop solar and cooperative solar?
|Cost||Rooftop Solar is more expensive due to system scale and suitable locations for panels. Payback from reduced utility energy usage is typically long term.||Cooperative Solar leverages economies of scale by installing a larger facility, which helps lessen the cost of the resulting energy production.|
|Backup power||Back-up power cannot be provided during a utility grid outage.||Back-up power cannot be provided during a utility grid outage.|
|Output||Production depends on the available space for panels, the orientation of the panels toward the sun and proper system maintenance.||Solar equipment located in the best locations and panel orientation to maximize the production of solar energy. Also, the system is maintained for optimum power generation.|
|Contract||Rooftop solar requires an upfront purchase or long-term financing agreement.||No contract is required.|
|Financing||Customer-Owner chooses the method of payment for a system: Cash, financing, lease, or other.||No financing is needed since solar power is bought in 1kW blocks.|
|Installation||Installation is usually on a rooftop, however, can be located in the yard if suitable space is available adjacent to the home.||No installation is needed at the home. The system is located where many consumers can benefit from solar.|
|Eligibility||Rooftop Solar is unavailable to individuals in apartments, rental homes, and homes with covenants.||Residential Customer-Owners on the monthly billing program are eligible to participate. Customer-Owners enrolled in the Pre-Pay program or Levelized Billing, are not eligible to participate.|
|Maintenance||The owner for safety and to ensure energy production must properly maintain the system.||The maintenance of the system and ensuring energy production is the responsibility of the cooperative.|
|Risk||Once a rooftop solar system is installed, the homeowner must confirm the system is operating properly to ensure receipt of energy production.||None. The cooperative assumes the risk of ownership.|
|Excess generation||Central Georgia EMC will purchase all net generation according to our Distributed Generation Policy.||Central Georgia EMC will purchase all net generation according to our Distributed Generation Policy.|