Interested in installing solar panels or another renewable energy source at your home or business?

We're here to help! We want members to be assured that the system they are interested in meets our standards before committing to buying and installing a solar, wind or other renewable energy generating system.

Not sure where to start? Visit Let's Go Solar to see if solar, or another renewable resource energy is right for you. 

Did you know that the power KEC purchases is 85% hydropower and 96.6% carbon free? Visit our carbon free energy options page to learn how to replace your carbon-based power or buy blocks of carbon-free power.  

KEC also has a community solar project for members who want renewable energy without the upfront investment. 

 

Questions to ask potential contractors:

• Are you licensed, bonded and insured in the state?

• How many systems have you installed? How many locally?

• How do you calculate the anticipated solar production of a system?

• How much electricity will my proposed system generate?

• Can you provide me with references?

• Do you use a licensed electrician to interconnect my generation?

• Will you take care of all the paperwork that my utility requires to sign up for net metering, as well as coordinate the job with them?

• Is my roof in good enough shape to last for the life of the solar PV system (20 years+)?

• Are your components UL listed? (Required for electrical inspection and utility interconnection).

• Will you also take care of any city, county or state permits that are necessary?

• Do you finance solar projects? If not, what are my upfront costs?

• What are additional expenses over the life of the system? Will I need to replace any components? Do you cover that?

• If there is a problem with the system, who do I contact?

What is distributed generation?

Distributed generation (DG) refers to electricity being generated at or near where the energy is consumed. A DG resource includes solar panels, wind turbines and other generating technologies. A DG resource may serve a single service location, or it may be a part of a microgrid serving multiple service locations. Members interested in DG may participate in our net metering program.  

What is net metering? 

Net metering describes how energy produced at a member’s location is measured against the energy consumed. On a net metered rate, the member is billed for the “net” difference between consumption and production during the monthly billing period. Here's how it works: 

net meter explanation

Typically, no. However, a system designed with a battery backup may provide short-term power to the member’s location during a power outage. For the safety of utility line workers a member’s generating resource shall have a manually operated, knife-blade type disconnect switch that is readily accessible, visible, and lockable in the open position only in accordance with National Electrical Code (NEC) 690.13(E).

Each month KEC’s meter will measure the amount of electricity transferring through the meter to the power grid. Any member generation in excess of their monthly kilowatt-hours (kWh) consumption will accumulate as “banked” kWh credits. During months in which a member’s consumption exceeds the amount generated, available banked kWh credits will be deducted from their account. Once depleted, remaining energy consumption will be billed at the energy rates of the applicable rate schedule. Banked energy credits will be available until consumed.

If a member closes their account, any banked kWh will reduce the kWh energy charge until credits are depleted, or until the kWh energy charge reaches a zero balance, whichever occurs first. Any remaining credits will be forfeited, and credits cannot be used to reduce any other charges on the member’s billing system. KEC will not issue payment for any banked kWh.

No. If you generate more electricity than you consumed for the billing month, it is possible to not have a kWh charge on your bill. There will still be a monthly service availability charge on your bill for the connection to the electric power grid as well as applicable taxes and fees. For members with onsite generation, the service availability charge pays for the portion of the system that members rely on to act as the “battery” for their generation.

For members on our budget billing program, your budget amount will still be due every month regardless of how much power is generated, however the current actual balance will reflect the net amount. 

For many installations, the only fee required by KEC is the $250 non-refundable application fee. If interconnection of the proposed DG resource requires upgrades to KEC’s infrastructure, the member will be responsible to pay all associated costs prior to completing the interconnection. In that case, KEC staff will provide the member with a construction proposal outlining the costs.  

No. KEC does not sell or install generation systems or equipment.

A Interconnection Agreement must be completed and returned to KEC along with an application, drawing and technical detail submittal package, and a $250 non-refundable application fee. Download the packet on the left to get started. 

KEC’s engineering and staking departments will review the system technical details and drawings to ensure the system meets current National Electrical Code (NEC), the applicable standards of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Underwriters Laboratories (UL), KEC’s Electric Service Handbook, KEC’s Policy 3-20, and KEC’s Net Metering Interconnection Standards. Once the review is complete, KEC will contact you to provide information on any applicable design changes, required upgrades and costs, or approval and authorization to proceed with the installation of the solar array.

An electrical permit and passing final inspection from the State division of building safety will be required.

After your DG resource is installed, you will provide KEC with the electrical permit and a passed inspection from the applicable jurisdiction. KEC will then perform a final inspection of the DG resource interconnection for compliance with KEC requirements. Once the final KEC inspection is complete, a net metering enabled meter will be installed at the service location and the account will be changed to a net metering rate schedule.

A meter that is programmed for net metering is required with net metering installations. If the existing meter does not have the required capability, KEC will replace the meter at the KEC service location with one that is capable of net metering.

KEC Solar Walkway Example

KEC designed our solar walkway to provide members with a demonstration of a live system generating power similar in size to what a residential member would install. 

System size: 4.3kW

Number of panels: 12

Average monthly generation: 395 kWh