ViewBag.Cooperative.Name Electric Co-Op Solar Energy

Solar Energy and Us

Solar power is energy from the sun that is converted into a clean, green source of energy. Solar is a hot topic in the electric cooperative world, and we want to provide our Members with the information they need to make an informed decision regarding this type of investment. While rooftop solar certainly works for many people, it’s not the answer for all. We want our Members to fully understand the true costs, the operational reality of this form of energy, and actual energy savings. Together, we can look at the total energy picture to help you determine the best options for your home. Our experience makes considering solar a simple, powerful, and efficient process.

Thinking About Solar

Rita Blanca Solar Calculator

Rita Blanca Solar Calculator ViewBag.Cooperative.Name Electric Co-Op Solar Energy


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Energy Usage


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Complete this section if you have a developer quote.




Values used are an approximation of today's electricity rates, system size, and financing rates. Updating the information will result in more accurate estimates. See estimated savings below.

* = Required

Savings Over Time - Cash

Savings Over Time - Loan

Cash and Loan Savings Breakdown Over 20 Years

Cash Breakdown

Optimistic Base Pessimistic
Upfront Install Cost 0 0 0
Remaining Member Bill 0 0 0
Loan Repayment - - -
Tax Credits 0 0 0
Total Cost with Solar 0 0 0

Cash Savings

Optimistic Base Pessimistic
Total Cost with Solar 0 0 0
Total Cost without Solar 0 0 0
Total Savings (or Loss) 0 0 0
Years Until Payback 0 0 0

Loan Breakdown with 0 down

Optimistic Base Pessimistic
Upfront Install Cost 0 0 0
Remaining Member Bill 0 0 0
Loan Repayment 0 0 0
Tax Credits 0 0 0
Total Cost with Solar 0 0 0

Loan Savings with 0 down

Optimistic Base Pessimistic
Total Cost with Solar 0 0 0
Total Cost without Solar 0 0 0
Total Savings (or Loss) 0 0 0
Years Until Payback 0 0 0

The Bottom Line: Installing solar is a big decision and the payback can be uncertain. Contact your local cooperative representative for help understanding the solar estimate provided above.


  1. If my PV system generates power, why do I need to connect to the utility grid?​

  2. Unless your PV system includes a battery, you need utility grid power for the inverter and for times when the sun is not powering your solar system (at night or cloudy days for instance). Most solar systems are designed to produce the amount of the home’s total energy consumption but not at the time the consumption occurs. The difference comes from the utility grid. Keep in mind that a PV system without a battery must be tied to the utility grid to work. This means that solar panels will not be able to provide your home with electricity during a power outage, unless you have a battery.
  3. How long does a PV system last?​

  4. A PV system is made up of different parts and each part has a different lifespan. The solar panels usually produce electricity for about 25 years with some year-over-year decline in efficiency as the panels degrade. After 25 years, the amount of electricity a solar panel generates begins to significantly decrease. Other parts of the PV system have a shorter lifespan. For example, the inverter is usually replaced every 10-15 years.
  5. Do PV systems affect my homeowner's insurance?​

  6. Each policy is different so you should contact your insurance provider before installing a PV system. Most homeowner insurance plans consider rooftop solar panels as part of a home and will cover them under your original plan. Ground-mounted solar panels usually require a separate insurance policy or can be added to your existing policy. Speaking with your insurance provider about coverage limits and what is covered under your existing policy is a great first step.
  7. How long does it take to install a PV System?​

  8. The average time from receiving the first quote to installation of a PV system is 2 to 6 months. It typically takes several weeks for the vendor to obtain the proper permits, design the system, and order the necessary parts. The physical installation will only take 1 to 3 days.
  9. How often do PV systems need maintenance?​

  10. PV systems typically require minimal maintenance. The wiring around the solar panels is most susceptible to damage; however, most equipment manufacturers offer extended warranties to cover any equipment replacement costs. Qualified solar professionals should inspect your system every 3 to 5 years to make sure it is working efficiently. Inverters will need to be replaced periodically and solar panels, while resistant to weather, may suffer unexpected damage from wind or hail.
  11. Do solar panels have to be installed on my roof?​

  12. No, solar panels can be installed on your roof or on a ground-mounted system. Ground-mounted systems are built with a frame, racking, and concrete footing. They are a great option for large properties with wide open space away from trees. Major benefits of ground-mounted systems may include more control of pitch and direction, larger size installations, and the avoidance of home roof issues such as needing to add additional support or system removal during reroofing.
  13. Why are vendor quotes so different?​

  14. Each vendor will design your system differently. Generally, vendors customize a system to fit your property and meet your energy goals. There are multiple PV system equipment manufacturers that offer a wide selection of equipment and parts. Some vendors try and mix and match different parts. Getting quotes from multiple vendors usually provides the homeowner with enough perspective to see which system best fits their needs. Make sure it is a reputable dealer – buyer beware – sometimes you get what you pay for.
  15. Why does the solar vendor say I need a bigger system than the solar calculator above?​

  16. Contact your local cooperative representative, Erik Badillo - 806-249-4506, to determine if there are limitations that the solar vendor is not considering and to find the PV system size that is right for you. There are a lot of factors that go into determining the right size for a PV system. Many vendors tend to recommend larger systems because they cost more and produce more electricity. However, producing more electricity is not always good for you. The Solar Savings Calculator above recommends a system size based on generic assumptions.
  17. What happens if I need to reroof my house?​

  18. If you plan to reroof your house in the next 5 to 10 years, it generally makes sense to do this before installing solar panels. Reroofing your house with solar requires the temporary removal and reinstallation of the solar panels and mounting hardware – a cost to the homeowner that can be several thousand dollars. Most solar vendors offer this service and will include a fee estimate, if asked. Generally, the removal and reinstallation process will take one day each but may require up to a month's advance notice depending on the availability of your solar vendor.
  19. Can my Homeowner’s Association (HOA) prevent me from installing solar?​

  20. The HOA cannot prohibit solar panel installations outright under the most recent solar access laws. However, HOAs can place restrictions on where and how solar is installed if it doesn’t make the proposed solar system less effective or more expensive. Homeowners that live in neighborhoods with HOAs must still follow the normal home improvement procedures when installing solar. It is important to check your HOA rules before installing solar on your property to avoid additional costs.
  21. What zoning or permitting requirements do I need to consider before installing solar?​

  22. Permitting and zoning requirements are subject to regional differences and can frequently change, so these questions are best handled by your solar vendor. Generally, you need three types of permits to install a residential solar system: an electrical permit, a structural or building permit, and a dedicated solar photovoltaic (PV) permit. The specific permits needed vary depending on the size, location, and type of PV system. There are infrequent zoning issues with residential solar, but your solar vendor should provide the latest information on any relevant city ordinances.

Avoid Shady Solar Scams by Contacting Rita Blanca First!

News stories like this are disappointing but not surprising. Some of our members report similar experienes. Please call Rita Blanca early in the process if you are installing solar power at your home. Our team will work hard to make sure everything goes smoothly.