Thank you for your interest in installing a solar energy system on your home or business. The Cooperative offers grants for solar systems through the Delaware Energy Office. However, your best savings will always be the energy you don't use. To maximize the benefits of having your own solar power system, make sure the electricity it generates is not lost to energy-inefficiency in your home. You probably have a lot of questions and we offer answers to some of the most common ones below.
The Delaware Energy Office will be accepting solar grant applications from Monday, January 25 through Friday, January 29, 2016. Please Check this website in December of 2016 for updates about the 2017 grant application process. Eligibility for grants is determined by the Delaware Energy Office. Solar systems must be installed by a qualified installer to be eligible for a grant. For further information about the grant process and a list of participating contractors, please visit the Delaware Green Energy Program website at: http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/energy/services/GreenEnergy/Pages/CoopGEP_F.aspx
A list of participating contractors can also be found here.
What is the process to install solar on my home?
Once you choose a contractor, that installer will work with you to submit a complete application and other necessary documents to the Delaware Energy Office, which manages the application process. If your grant request is approved, you, the contractor and the Delaware Energy Office will work together to make sure the Co-op has proper documentation for your project.
Will solar save me money?
This all depends on the size of the system, your energy consumption and the cost to purchase or lease the solar system. To help gauge changes in our rates, from 2000 to 2008, DEC averaged an annual rate increase of about two-percent. From 2008 to the present, our rates have fallen one-percent. Our overall cost for power, including energy and distribution charges averages 11 cents per kilowatt-hour, however you individual cost may vary depending on your rate.
What type of meter will I receive from the Co-op?
After your solar system has been installed, you’ll receive a meter that will allow DEC to record excess energy produced by your system that your home/business doesn’t use. This is called net-metering and you will be credited for excess energy produced. It’s important to note that very few systems meet a home’s overall energy needs. Members may be required to pay for the set up of the new meter. Any payment for excess energy produced is distributed on an annual basis.
Click HERE for more information on the interconnection process.
When will I receive my grant money?
If you are approved for a solar grant, it may take up to two years to receive the grant payment. There are limited funds available for renewable grants and demand is high. Grants are capped at $5,000 for the 2015 program year.
If you’ve already been approved for a grant, you can view our grant queue, using the grant number issued by the Delaware Energy Office to see when you might receive your payment. The queue can be viewed HERE.
Leasing Vs. Buying a System
When you purchase a solar system, you are eligible to sell your solar renewable energy credits (SREC’s) and may also qualify for renewable energy grants. If you lease a system, your project is NOT eligible for grant money and you may not be able to sell your SREC’s. Many solar contractors are now offering leased systems because the upfront cost is much cheaper. The price you pay for power produced from a leased system can either increase every year or remain flat, depending on the type of contract you sign and may or may not save you money in the long run. Be sure to ask the contractor for a clear statement of what you will pay per kWh produced by the system over the term of the contract. If you would like DEC to review any contracts before signing please give us a call.
Click HERE to help understand some of the costs and savings associated with installing a solar system.
Click HERE to view a presentation provided to members interested in solar in January of 2017.