Consider Solar? Know Before You Go!
Choptank Electric receives close to seven applications per week from members interested in applying for renewable energy interconnections, with the majority being for solar systems. On the Eastern Shore, there are approximately two dozen solar installer/contractor companies that our members can utilize as their solar company. But how do you start? Choptank Electric would like to make members aware of how the process should go to avoid costly investments.
1. If you want to install solar to save money,
invest instead in…
While installing solar panels is very appealing as a cost-saving measure, did you stop to consider simpler undertakings such as adding insulation, sealing air leaks, and completing other basic fix-it projects that could cut your energy costs immediately? Even if you are not the do-it-yourself-type, a call or visit from our knowledgeable Energy Program Coordinator could reveal some easier and more affordable options that can make as much of an impact long-term and often costs less than installing solar panels.
2. Check your contractor once. Check your
As with any major home improvement project, purchasing from the right installer/contractor is every bit as important as the product you are purchasing. Due diligence is critical to ensure you get the best system, for a fair price, installed correctly and on time. We encourage our members to not be swayed by one particular contractor and instead, obtain 2-4 bids options. A good contractor will be fully licensed and insured, have extensive installation experience, and be willing to answer all your questions and communicate with Choptank Electric Cooperative. Finally, it never hurts to contact your local Better Business Bureau or Attorney General's office to corroborate the credibility of a specific contractor.
3. Communicate with Us!
We are here for you! Choptank Electric should be one of your first contacts when it comes to installing solar. Our experts at Choptank Electric can answer basic to detailed questions and provide research material on what we as an electrical distributor require for interconnection. Our staff can also review your past energy usage, and help you determine how any projects you have undertaken have improved your energy efficiency.
4. A solar primer – how does it all work?
Once selected, an installer will proceed to conduct a feasibility study to determine your property’s ability to harness solar power, the possible size of the system, and determine how much the system will provide you in terms of generation. A reputable contractor would also take steps to communicate with Choptank Electric and obtain your usage history to aid them in crafting a successful system, as well as obtaining any required interconnection forms to ensure our system is capable to allow a new solar system. Next, a contract will be drafted to explain and detail the specifics of your system. At this point, it’s a matter of signatures, installation, and inspections before we can call the process finalized.
Although installing solar panels on your home or business is an exciting new trend, don’t lose sight of doing your research, asking questions, carefully scrutinizing any contract before signing an agreement, and keeping an open line of communication with Choptank Electric so that we can ensure that you, the member, are taken care of. Visit Choptank Electric’s website at https://choptankelectric.com/green-energy to get a preliminary understanding of net metering and the generation interconnect process.