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.
WHAT IS IT?
MemberSolar is a community-driven solar project available to all ECEC members who want to participate by having a certain amount of their energy needs to be generated at our local solar facility. There are two ways to participate; members can choose to purchase production output upfront or pay a monthly fee for the output of 5 units (Pay As You Go). 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?
Are you interested in learning more about MemberSolar?
HOW IT WORKS
- Members can make a one-time payment per 310 watt subscription unit. Contact Us for more information.
- OR Members can pay a $20 monthly fee for the output of 5 subscription units each month.
- Participating members then receive a credit on their electric bills for their pro-rata share of energy produced by the facility through December 31, 2035.
HOW CAN I PARTICIPATE
To participate in MemberSolar, follow these easy steps:
- 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.
- Decide if you want to purchase upfront, or do Pay As You Go
- Purchasing Units:
- Sign the Member Agreement
- Pay for the number of subscription units you choose. Checks, cash, and credit cards are accepted.
- Pay As You Go:
- Simply stop in the office, or call ECEC, to sign up for the number of blocks you would like to receive. (1 block is equal to 5 subscription units)
- With Pay As You Go members will be billed a monthly fee of $20 per block.
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 881 kW and is made up of 2,816 - 310 watt solar panels. The output of a 310 watt subscription unit will be sold, or the output of 5 units can be applied for a monthly fee (Pay As You Go). 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, as a member you are not purchasing solar panels, you are purchasing the production credits (output) of a subscription unit. This is either for the 20 year life of the project if you purchase the unit, or on a month-to-month basis if participating in Pay As You Go.
Energy production will vary from month to month and year to year based on actual sunshine. 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, after the April billing has been run; the amount of any excess production allowed to roll over to the next month is limited to a maximum of 40 kilowatt hours (kWh) per subscription unit. Any kWh's in excess of this amount 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 anticipated usage. For help in determining the appropriate purchase amount for your account contact our office.
- 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 credits to your new location
- If you leave the area, you may elect to transfer or assign the credits to another member, donate them to a member organization, or ECEC will repurchase on a declining basis of 10% per year.
- Simply leave the production credits on your account for whoever moves in. They then can choose to continue or decline participation.
- If you move your electric service to a different location within ECEC's service territory you can transfer the credits to your new location.
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.
Members may choose the Pay as You Go monthly payment option and receive monthly credits without having to pay the larger upfront cost of purchasing subscription units. It's an easy way to participate in and support local, clean renewable energy.
Members participate by paying $20.00/month for one block of 5 MemberSolar units. In return you will be credited each month for the kilowatt-hour (kWh) output from those units. Call or stop in to sign up.
No contract required and members may opt out at any time.
If you drop all or some of your blocks and you have any banked kWh, at that time you would lose the banked kWhs associated with those blocks. So members should size their participation based on their historical and expected future usage and should not participate at levels that would exceed that usage. And they also would need to monitor changes in usage in order to make adjustments as needed.
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.