It is important to understand how much energy you use and produce, as well as when you use energy and how that affects the system’s performance. Even when you add costly batteries to offset usage when the sun is not shining, our Midwest winters often cause usage that cannot be offset by shortened sunlight hours and increased cloud cover.”
This sometime leads to a system that does not match your usage and, in turn, does not end up saving energy. This could also result in long-term payment plans that do not reduce your monthly bills as originally intended.
Your contractor should be using the electric cooperative’s buyback rate for excess generation, not a default retail rate. Call your cooperative to get an accurate buyback rate. A reputable installer will size your solar system based on your individualized energy usage and give you realistic expectations for savings.
Your co-op is your trusted energy partner and any attempts to shield you from interacting with the co-op is a warning sign. Refer to the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners at NABCEP.org to locate certified installers and practitioners in your area.
Deceptive tactics often include forecasting utility rate increases at two and three times that of past increases. Ask your electric cooperative about historical rate increases and potential future rates.