How does it work?

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WHAT IS IT?
MemberSolar is a community-driven solar project available to all ECEC members who want to participate by pre-paying for a certain amount of their energy needs to be generated at our local solar facility. Those choosing not to participate will not see any change in their power bill resulting from the project.

Are you interested in learning more about MemberSolar?
HOW IT WORKS
  • Members make a one-time payment of $650.00 per subscription unit (a subscription unit is the output from one panel).
  • This money is put towards constructing and maintaining a solar facility at ECEC Headquarters.
  • Participating members then receive a credit on their electric bills for their pro-rata share of energy produced by the facility for the next 20 years.
  • Beginning February 1, 2016, the subscription price will be prorated to reflect the remainder of the 20 years available.
HOW CAN I PARTICIPATE
Subscription units can now be purchased in person at ECEC Headquarters! To participate in MemberSolar, follow these three easy steps:
  1. Determine how many subscription units are right for you. If you need help determining that number, contact ECEC for assistance. We are happy to help you.
  2. Sign the Member Agreement
  3. Pay for the number of subscription units you choose - checks, cash, and credit cards are accepted. Special financing through RCU is available by calling 1-800-341-9911, ext 5 or emailing loanmonitor@rcu.org

MemberSolar lowers the cost to individual co-op members through economies of scale. It is perfect for members who do not want to, or can't, install solar on their own property.

FAQs

To provide interested Eau Claire Energy Cooperative members a viable and affordable option to purchase renewable solar energy on a voluntary basis.
The project is 872 kW which will be made up of 2,816 - 310 watt solar panels. The output of each panel, a subscription unit, will be sold for $650.00. Beginning February 1, 2016, the subscription price will be prorated to reflect the remainder of the 20 years available. Each ECEC account is eligible to purchase from 1 unit - up to a maximum of 1,000 units. Purchase should be sized so as not to exceed current or anticipated usage. For help determining an appropriate purchase amount, please contact our office.
No, the community solar array will be built on a 4 acre section of ground along Highway 12 in Fall Creek. Eau Claire Energy Cooperative will be responsible for operating, maintaining, and insuring the array for the 20-year life of the project.
No, as a member you are not purchasing solar panels, you are purchasing the production credits (output) of a solar panel, or a unit, for the 20 year life of the project.
Energy production will vary from month to month and year to year based on actual sunshine. Half of the energy is expected to be produced June through August. Each unit is estimated to produce an average of 400 kilowatt hours each year over the 20 year life of the project.
The total energy produced by the entire solar array each month will be divided by the number of units in the project. Each participating member's bill will be reduced by the number of kWh's their share of the overall project produced - priced at the current ECEC energy component of the member's retail rate. As the ECEC rate changes over time, the value of the bill credit will also change. If rates increase, the value of the credit will increase. For members on Rates C, CA, or E, please contact the Cooperative for more information.
If your share of production exceeds your usage in any month, the excess will roll over to the next month. However, once per year, if there is any excess production it will be zeroed out and no credit will be given. To avoid this, members should size their subscription based on current usage, as well as anticpated uasge. For help in determining the appropriate purchase amount for your account contact our office.
One option is to simply leave the production credits on your account for whoever moves in, this is value added to your home the same as if you had physically installed panels. If you move your electric service to a different location within ECEC's service territory, you can transfer the credit to your new location. If you leave the area, you may elect to transfer or assign the production credits to another member, donate them to a member organization, or ECEC will repurchase on a declining basis of 10% per year.
The project will be evaluated as the 20 year life approaches to determine if it is still a viable project. If it is deemed a viable project and is able to operate effectively, the cooperative has the option to offer an extension of the member agreement.
Since you own the rights to the energy production of the units and not the solar units themselves, you are not eligible for state or federal renewable tax credits. However, you are getting the benefit of the tax incentives in a reduced up-front cost. To determine any other tax implications, please contact your tax preparer.

What about cloudy days?

Solar panels produce electricity even on cloudy days, usually around 10-20% of the amount produced on sunny days. Your credit will be larger during "solar rich" months and less during other months.