Solar Power

Solar Power

photo of Josh Schaffner with solar modules

Interested in solar? Let’s talk!

Capital Electric Cooperative is committed to helping our members find affordable, reliable and safe energy options. We make solar simple, helping you evaluate the risks and benefits of rooftop solar and finding a solution that is right for you.

Q: Is rooftop solar a good option for me?

A: Maybe

Whether and how much you will benefit from a residential solar array depends on:

  • how much you pay for electricity
  • how much electricity you use
  • your roof
  • state and local incentives for solar development
  • your rooftop solar provider

At Capital Electric Cooperative, we can help answer many of these questions.

Q: Is my house suitable for a rooftop solar array?

A: Maybe

  • Does your roof face south or west and is it shaded?
  • Will you need to replace your roof sometime during the life of the panels? If so, you should replace your roof first.
  • Have you explored all of your energy efficiency options? (It doesn’t make sense to purchase more solar than you need!) We can help you reduce your energy use and right-size your array.
  • Does your community have restrictions?
  • Can your roof support the added weight?  You may need an inspector to verify.

Q: What options do I have if rooftop solar doesn't work for me?

A: A Ground mounted system is also an option if you have enough clear space.

Q: Will solar panels provide electricity in the event of an outage?

A: No

Without a “smart inverter” and possibly a battery system, most rooftop arrays do not provide power during outages .

Q: What should I know before I sign a contract?

A: If you are purchasing a rooftop solar array, be sure to ask:

  • What is the total installed (turnkey) cost of the system?
  • What is the payback period? How is that calculated?
  • Will I need to finance the array?
  • Who gets the tax credits (the “renewable energy credit”)?
  • Will I receive “free” electricity once panels are paid for?
  • Does the company offer warranties on panels AND inverters?
  • What are the details of the service contract?

A: If you are leasing panels in a rooftop array, be sure to ask:

  • What is the upfront cost of the system?
  • Are there other customers in the vicinity with comparable systems? How much electricity are their systems producing?
  • Who gets the tax benefit (the “renewable energy credit”)
  • Can the lease be transferred if I sell the house?
  • Does the lease company have the right to run a credit check?

Q: As a consumer, how can I protect myself and my investment?

A: Research

When you make the decision to invest in residential solar, you are making a significant financial investment. Be sure to do your research on the company.

  • Are the installers North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Electric trained and certified?
  • When was your company established and how much solar has it installed to date?
  • Can your company provide a list of the projects and references for them?
  • Are you accredited with the Better Business Bureau? If so, what is your rating?

Have more questions? Call us or send us an email! To see solar projects in our service area, click here!

 

joshs@capitalelec.com  

(701) 712-7920

jaredn@capitalelec.com

(701) 712-7922

 

Touchstone Energy has supplied us with solar energy fact sheets for your information. Please review these to understand more about solar and whether it is right for you.

Solar panel cost by state, by system size and panel manufacturer

Estimate the solar panel cost and savings for your home

Solar Energy FAQ's

10 steps to take before installing solar

Questions to ask a solar contractor

What is community solar?

Rent or buy solar?

What size of solar system is right for you?