Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative wants to help members who are interested in generating some of their electricity from renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.
To find out if renewable energy is right for you, start by researching your options and then contacting private companies to help analyze what kind of system fits your needs and the costs involved. Information on a variety of renewable energy options, from solar and wind to geothermal, is available at http://www.energysavers.gov/renewable_energy.
Installations can be pricey but a federal renewable energy tax credit of 30 percent lowers the net cost. Find financial assistance for energy efficient purchases and improvements in the form of tax credits, rebates, and energy-efficient financing at http://www.energysavers.gov/financial.
Looking for an installer? The Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association has information about dozens of installers statewide at http://www.treia.org.
After you decide which source you prefer — wind or solar — talk to manufacturers and companies that sell and set up the systems. After you have your estimates and plans, call our Member Service Representatives at 800-842-7708.
Bluebonnet staffers will review plans to make sure they meet all rules and safety requirements. The co-op provides simple forms online for inspection and approval of the plans here.
The process can be completed in a few weeks and there’s no extra charge from Bluebonnet if existing lines and transformers are used.
If you are a Bluebonnet member and are considering generating electricity by solar or wind, here is how it works:
If you install wind or solar generation Bluebonnet will install a meter that records how much electricity you use and how much you generate and put onto the co-op’s distribution lines. At the end of each year, Bluebonnet will calculate how much surplus electricity you generated and pay you for it in January.
Here is how you are billed:
If you use more electricity than you generate during your billing cycle, you will be billed for the amount of electricity you buy from Bluebonnet. If you generate more electricity than you use during your billing cycle, that amount will be calculated using the wholesale generation rate and you will be paid for it in January of the following year.
Reasons to consider renewable energy options
- Renewables help reduce the need for new coal- and gas-powered plants that cause pollution.
- The technology has gotten more efficient and affordable.
- And, electric providers have adopted policies that make it easier for customers to connect those kinds of devices to their homes.
Twelve solar installations and seven wind turbines are up and running with Bluebonnet’s assistance, mostly at members’ homes. Read about three co-op members who already are using renewable energy.
A SOLAR SELECTION
GOING FOR THE WIND
HARNESSING THE WIND