Before you invest in solar, we are here to help
As your trusted energy advisor, Tri-County Electric Cooperative wants to provide information to help you, our member-owners, make the best decision.
At Tri-County Electric Co-op, we care about our members. We want you to be informed and have useful resources to reference as you consider solar solutions. Please explore our resources to learn more about solar installations.
At Tri-County Electric Co-op, we care about our members. We want you to be informed and have useful resources to reference as you consider solar solutions. Please explore the URLs included to learn more about solar installations.
- Solar permits are usually required and vary by city. Be sure to visit your city's website for more information
- Most insurance companies cover solar panels under your homeowner policy. Contact your insurance provider for more information. Click here to learn more about solar panel insurance.
- Consider joining SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association) for access to their database on solar projects and recommended solar installers.
Click on the links below to learn more about legislative bills, property and tax codes relate to solar installation in Texas:
Download this information on Solar Installation.
In addition to being one of the largest electric cooperatives in DFW, Tri-County offers an exclusive opportunity for its member-owners to install solar. The state of Texas is ascending as a leader of solar capacity, and is expected to "surpass wind and natural gas emissions," (EIA). The benefits of choosing solar are listed below. Additionally, please visit this site for more information about the benefits of choosing solar power for your residence, and this site for more information about the Investment Tax Credit (ITC).
The chart below depicts the significant rise in solar capacity in Texas.
Before making the switch to solar, please consider what to expect:
- The amount of metered electricity you purchase from Tri-County Electric Co-op depends on how much electricity your solar panels produce
- The electricity your solar panels produce powers your home, and Tri-County receives the excess energy
- The solar electricity received by Tri-County is stored in the grid in your account
- If your panels produce more electricity than you use, your bill will reflect a "net zero" energy charge. A customer charge of $18 for solar members, and a distributed generation fee of $12, will still be on your bill
- Those charges benefit your residence by helping us maintain the power grid and keeping you connected to it, providing electricity to you on days when there is no sunlight
- Tri-County Electric Cooperative is contractually prohibited from buying power from anyone other than the Brazos Generation and Transmission Cooperative. We cannot pay you for any excess electricity your solar panels may produce.
You've chosen solar, now it's time to choose an installer! Your solar system is a long-term investment, and the contract between you and an installer is, too! Here are some tips to keep in mind when selecting an installer:
- Obtain at least 3 different quotes
- Confirm that installers have a valid Texas Electrical Contractor's License (TECL) from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
- Seriously consider who is NABCEP PV Installation Professional certified
- Familiarize yourself with laws pertaining to your electrical contractor's responsibilities and find your contractor here
- Ensure the installer you choose has an established business
- Check for ratings and reviews online. If the solar installation company is national, check their business profile on https://www.bbb.org/
Download these tips.
Members interested in the solar program can submit an application. Before applying, we recommend reviewing our solar resources on the webpage and talk to multiple installers to find a solution that best fits your needs.
Tri-County's engineering team will review applications within 10 business days of submission. However, if the application is not complete or additional information is required, the process could be delayed. Ultimately, the installer is responsible for working with you, the member, and Tri-County to meet requirements. Each project is different based on the system and installer, so we are unable to provide an exact timeline.
There is a solar application fee of $500. Additionally, there is a $12 Distributed Generation fee applied to your monthly bill to offset operation and maintenance expenses related to solar.
The $12 DG fee covers the cost of power to connect to the grid, especially during times when sunlight is not present, and acts as an overhead cost for maintenance. The $18 customer charge is a flat fee on all member bills used to recover a portion of the cost to provide electric service.
Tri-County will notify you, the member, via email when you have permission to operate the system. The application process must be complete before you can operate the system. Tampering charges, including a $2,500 fee, will be applied to the member account if the system is turned on without approval from Tri-County's engineering team. Furthermore, failure to comply will result in the disconnection of service. Learn more about our tampering policy here.
Most members will have the new AMI meter that will work with the system. Members with the older meter will receive a new meter that works with the system free of charge.
Tri-County does not provide a production meter at this time. Members will receive an AMI meter that works with the system, which tracks generated energy and delivered energy.
The system will be inspected after the design is approved by Tri-County and the application fee is paid.
Yes, a new application must be submitted online prior to installing any new equipment.
No, the solar agreement stays with that location and will automatically be attached to the new account.
Tri-County does not have a list of approved installers. Before selecting a contractor, we recommend reviewing our Contractor Questions document and talk to multiple installers to find the contractor and system that is right for you.
An interconnection agreement is a contract outlining relationship obligations and requirements between the member and Tri-County for the generator.
Members my contact our member service department once the panels have been removed to update cooperative records.
Solar production is directly impacted by the intensity of the sun. As such, production is lower on cloudy days and zero when the sun has set. Additionally, the production averages will peak in summer and be at their lowest in winter. Since you are still connected to Tri-County Electric Co-op's system, we can meet your electric needs beyond what your solar system is able to produce.