Frequently Asked Questions

No special equipment is required for the cooperative solar participants. All adjustments are made through our billing system.
Rooftop systems cost can vary significantly, so any comparison would need to be for a particular application. Residential roof top systems also require the member to make a significant initial investment.  Large scale utility systems are usually more economical by virtue of bulk purchasing.
No, some Members are content with traditional methods of power delivery. However, all Okefenoke Member’s receive a portion of their energy from renewable sources….including solar… due to the diversity of Okefenoke’s energy portfolio.
All Members will benefit from the long term fixed price energy produced by the solar farm. The solar project will become part of Okefenoke’s diversified energy portfolio.
Not directly. As energy costs are projected to increase in the coming years, the fixed price energy produced by the solar project could be lower than other resources such as coal and natural gas. However, solar energy cost still exceed other sources today.
Maintenance cost for the panels can vary due to location, quantity, and other factors. Today, most panel manufacturers indicate the life of panels to be around 25 years. Periodic cleaning may be required in some locations.
Okefenoke’s solar project will provide approximately 2000 blocks of energy for Members to purchase.
No. A block should not be associated with the solar equipment, but rather the energy produced by the solar project. 1 block equates to the energy produced by 1 kW of solar array.
The cooperative solar program will offer members an opportunity to purchase 1 or 2 blocks at $20 each.
Customer Service Representatives will be responsible for signing members up for the program. Members will be able to sign up using various methods such as an online application, email request, phone request, or by visiting one of our offices in person. For your convenience, a PDF version of the application will also be available online for Members to print out.
Once signed up, a Member will have to remain in the program for at least one billing cycle due to administrative processes. Upon opting out, a 12 month waiting period will be required before a Member is eligible to participate again – provided solar blocks are available.
Members will not be subject to a sign-up fee for the solar program. Sign-up is free.
Unfortunately not. Members utilizing Time-of-Use, PrePay, or existing residential solar customers are not eligible to participate in cooperative solar at this time due to our billing software structure. The software vendor is working to resolve this issue, but a timeline has not been provided as to date.
Typically, the initial process could take a few days to transition into the cooperative solar program and is dependent on member billing cycle. Members will notice the cooperative solar charge on the first month of program participation.
Yes. While the bill will have a “standard” look, additional line items and energy information will be provided on a solar participant’s bill. The “Cooperative Solar Program” line item will be included as well as the “solar energy produced” indication.
No. Members will have access to their energy usage, but the solar energy credit will be provided for the billing cycle as a line item energy credit. The energy output of the solar project will require several data validations before issuing credit to participants. Members should expect to see a delay for the energy credit. However, Members will have access to view daily solar farm production via the “dashboard” once functional.
No…not at this time. However, future legislation could require Okefenoke to utilize additional renewable resources…..and those cost most likely would become part of our rate structure.
The (3) solar projects and all required interconnection cost represent approximately $4.2m.
Not immediately. At this time, renewable energy is more expensive compared to traditional energy sources. However, long term participation benefits members due to the fixed cost of solar. The program offers Members an opportunity to experience the variable characteristics of solar energy. The benefit of the additional cost includes no significant upfront investment by Member, flexibility to cancel the program at any time, no impact to personal property such as homes or land, and utilization of environmental friendly resources.
Members will have different methods to learn more about the solar program. Our new Okefenoke website will contain program details and instructions for sign up. Members may also choose to contact one of the Customer Service Reps or Member Services Reps for more details via telephone. Members may submit an application via email. Walk-ins are welcome in all three offices.
Participating Members will receive a renewable energy credit on their bill as a separate negative kWh value. This negative value will represent the energy produced by 1 kW of the solar farm for a particular time period. (2kW if purchased 2 blocks)
Yes. Each block will be credited the exact same share of total energy produced during the billing period. The energy credit for each month will be determined by summing the production of all solar projects during a particular period of time and dividing by the number of blocks available.
No. Residential solar customers will not be affected by the cooperative solar projects.
There is no upfront cost. Members will see a $20 charge for the program on the first month of participation.
Solar provides an environmental friendly alternative to traditional energy resources. Yes, Members will still receive a bill as solar only produces energy during daylight hours.
Solar Panels require sunlight, therefore they will not produce energy at night.
Members with residential solar systems must consider the impact of solar installation to future sale opportunities. Residential solar customers sign an Interconnection Agreement with Okefenoke which allows them to connect to the distribution system. This agreement would require termination if the owner sells the home. The new home owner would be required to sign an agreement in order to use the existing residential solar system.
Although rare, Members with solar systems can potentially produce more energy than they use for a given month. In this case, the Member will receive whole sale credit per the current net meter rider for the additional energy provided to the grid. Understand that they will not receive retail credit for excess energy.
All maintenance on the cooperative solar project will be addressed by the contractor for the first 5 years. Okefenoke will then have the option to sign another maintenance contract or assume responsibility.
No. Cooperative solar participants are only required to sign up for the program. A participant must remain in the program for one billing cycle due to administrative requirements.
A “block” represents portion of energy produced by the solar farms…..not to be associated with a certain number of panels or physical assets. Okefenoke cooperative solar program will offer a maximum of 2 blocks per metered accounts to its Members…..cost of each block will be $20.
Energy production is variable. Okefenoke plans to offer the solar energy at an attractive rate for Members who are environmentally conscience and want an easy way to use renewable energy. Initial economic analysis indicate that the annual average cost for solar energy would be slightly higher than our current rates which is reflective of solar energy industry wide.
The “blocks” represent a Member portion of the energy output from the solar project for a given period of time. Location of solar array and Member location are irrelevant to the participation.