How much electricity will a solar system produce?
A typical south-facing solar system in North Texas with full sun exposure will produce approximately 1,533 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year for every 1 kilowatt (kW) of system capacity. West- and east-facing systems will produce about 15 to 20 percent less, respectively. North-facing systems will produce over 40 percent less.
The figures above are derived using the National Renewable Energy Laboratory PVWatts Calculator.
Can a solar system supply all my home’s electricity needs?
For most customers, solar with proper direction orientation will provide approximately 40 to 50 percent of their home’s electricity, regardless of how large a system is installed. Installing a larger solar system cannot overcome these limitations. Instead, a larger system will produce more energy when the sun is shining. If the system produces more electricity than your home needs during these times, the excess production will flow to the electric grid rather than the home.
Can I put a solar system somewhere else other than my roof?
Yes. Solar systems can also be mounted on the ground.
How long do solar panels last?
A typical solar panel has a 20-year warranty.
Will I be able to produce power during an outage?
No. The inverter, which is one of the key components of a solar system, needs power continuously to function; therefore, you must remain connected to the grid. If the grid goes off during an outage, so does the inverter.
Does CoServ finance solar electricity systems?
CoServ does not currently offer any solar financing programs. Please consult with your installer and/or financial institution regarding financing options.
When will CoServ set my bi-directional meter for my newly installed solar?
Once CoServ receives notification of completion from your installer, we try to have the bi-directional meter set within 10 days, many times sooner. The following reasons could lead to an extended wait time:
- CoServ was not previously made aware of the solar installation
- The installation did not pass our final inspection and needs to be installed per the specifications of the DG Manual Distributed Generation Manual (PDF)
Why does the solar production output on my invertor not match my CoServ bill?
Your solar inverter is measuring the production of your solar panels only. It does not consider your house’s energy consumption. Solar panels are typically installed on top of your roof, and the output of the solar system flows to your house where it is first used to supply the energy used by your house. Only the excess solar production that is not needed by your house flows through the CoServ meter.
The CoServ bi-directional meter is measuring the flow of electricity between your house and the grid, either forward or backward. When your house is using more energy than your solar system is producing, energy from the grid combines with solar to supply your house, and the meter flows forward. When your solar panels are producing more than your house’s consumption, then excess solar energy not needed by your house flows onto the grid, and the meter flows backward. Keep in mind that energy produced by your solar panels will be consumed in your house first, and only the excess will flow across the meter. This means that the number will be lower than what is shown by your inverter, which shows your solar system’s total production before it powers your house.
The CoServ bill will show the total energy that moved forward and the total energy that moved backward on the meter. You are billed the net of these two totals.
CoServ buys the excess solar power at full retail cost through net metering. However, the amount CoServ buys back during each billing cycle will not exceed the amount that your house consumed from the grid during that same billing cycle. CoServ encourages Members to size their systems so it doesn't produce more than they consume during their lowest usage month.
Why do I still receive an Electric Bill?
After you have solar installed, you are still responsible for the monthly Customer Charge ($10) and DG Customer Charge ($10). The minimum bill you can receive after you have solar installed is $20/month.
In efforts to take full advantage of our DG Net-Metering policy/rate, the solar installation should not produce more solar energy than the anticipated energy consumption of your structure during the Spring or Fall months when the weather is mildest, and your electricity consumption is lowest. This is because it does not make financial sense to over-size your solar installation, as CoServ does not reimburse you for over-production at the end of your billing cycle.
If you have your solar installation sized properly, as described above, you will see your electric bill increase during the summer months because your electricity consumption is typically much higher in the summer months due to air conditioning load. You will still be displacing energy with solar, and you will still be getting the benefits of CoServ’s net metering policies during these hot summer months.
What is net metering?
Net metering is a system in which solar panels or other renewable energy generators are connected to a utility power grid, and the customer is credited for surplus power transferred onto the grid. This allows customers to use their surplus solar generation to partially offset the cost of power drawn from the utility. CoServ’s current policies provide net metering for solar systems with a capacity of 50 kW or less. CoServ charges customers with solar PV systems only for their net usage within a billing period, after any excess solar production that is directed to the electric grid is subtracted from the amount of grid electricity consumed by the home.
Understanding Your Net-Metered Electric Bill
Del: When your house is using more energy than your solar system is producing, energy from the grid combines with solar to supply your house, and the meter flows forward. This is the energy delivered to your home.
Rec: When your solar panels are producing more than your house’s consumption, the excess solar energy not needed by your house flows onto the grid, and the meter flows backward. This is the energy received by CoServ. This amount will not match the output registered on your solar inverter; it represents only the excess solar production that is not needed by your house.
Net: This is the net total of energy that moved forward (DEL) and the energy that moved backward (Rec) on the meter. You are billed on this amount. CoServ’s current net-metering policy gives you full retail credit on all energy produced providing that your solar panels did not produce more energy than your house consumed at the end of the billing cycle.
What is the distributed generation (DG) fee?
Distributed generation (DG) refers to a variety of technologies that generate electricity at or near where it will be used, such as solar panels and combined heat and power. CoServ’s retail electricity rate is designed to recover from customers, in a fair and equitable manner, CoServ’s costs to provide electric service according to how those costs are caused by the customers. CoServ’s retail rate includes recovery of fixed costs, such as distribution capacity, metering, billing, and other fixed costs, in addition to the cost of energy. These fixed costs are incurred for all customers, including those with solar. Because CoServ allows net metering of the full retail rate, the DG fee recovers a portion of these fixed costs in a fair and equitable manner. Learn more in our distributed generation manual.
Can I go solar without purchasing a new solar system?
Yes, CoServ’s new Solar Savings Rate is a great way to go solar without having solar panels. Launched in March 2021, this rate program offers 100 percent renewable energy without the long-term commitment, upfront cost and commitment required with physical solar panels. It’s also perfect for townhomes and apartments.
The rate itself is also competitive with CoServ’s Standard Residential Rate.
CoServ has its own solar that’s generated at the CoServ Solar Station, a 2-megawatt solar farm near Krugerville. CoServ also buys 52 megawatts of power from the massive Lapetus Solar Project in far West Texas.
Please note that there is no guarantee that CoServ’s net metering policy or current rate structure will remain the same throughout the life of a solar system.
Certified Solar Installer Program:
How does CoServ’s Certified Solar Installation Program benefit me?
CoServ is aware that many of its customers are interested in having solar panels installed on their homes.
We want to help customers make informed decisions by providing a list of solar installers that CoServ believes will perform quality work in an ethical manner at a fair price.
Why did CoServ discontinue its Solar Rebate Program?
The solar industry has changed significantly since we started offering rebates. Our rebate was initially designed to help those installing a new and emerging technology overcome a significant cost barrier. However, we have seen a substantial change in the need for a rebate due to the greatly decreased cost to install rooftop solar. Adoption is high, and CoServ’s rebate no longer impacts the decision for many of our Members. In addition, there are costs to administering a rebate program that go far beyond just the actual rebate. Historically, these costs were passed along to all Members whether they took advantage of the program or not. As energy costs rise, we are looking at ways to reduce costs passed along to our Members. Due to these reasons, we have decided to eliminate the solar rebate program.