South Central Indiana REMC supports a mix of power-generating resources that utilize traditional means of power generation as well as renewable technologies such as solar power (or photovoltaic, PV).
Are You Considering Installing Solar Panels?
If you are considering investing in a distributed generation system, we highly recommend you invest time researching renewable energy before you begin. Your research will provide the information and resources needed to aid you to understand the economics of a distributed generation system including the type of renewable energy technology best for your property, financing, potential incentives, and other requirements, such as insurance. Implementing energy efficiency measures before installing a distributed generation system can save you money by reducing your overall energy consumption and reduce the size of the distributed generation system you’ll need to meet your energy needs. South Central Indiana REMC personnel is always available to answer your questions and provide information you need to make informed decisions. We can also provide a list of Solar vendors who have assisted other SCI REMC members.
Here are some things you should think about before you start the process of installing solar panels:
ENERGY EFFICIENCY MEASURES – Changing out your windows/doors, adding insulation, and upgrading old heating systems and appliances can often save energy at a lower cost than installing solar panels. Updating your home leads to reducing your total energy use. Geothermal heat pumps provide clean, quiet heating and cooling while cutting utility bills by up to 70%, and SCI REMC offers rebates for them.
PURPOSE – Is your purpose environmental, to save money, to lower your electric bill, or for outage protection?
COST – The average cost of a standard (non-tracking) solar photovoltaic system is $2.50 to $3.50 per watt. (The average 10 kW system would cost $25,000 to $35,000.) A backup battery system to store excess energy costs an additional $2 per watt. The average payback for PV is 20 years.
SQUARE FOOTAGE – Each kW of power requires about 55 to 65 square feet of space (whether it’s on your roof or in your yard). A 10 kW system would require 550 to 650 square feet.
FEDERAL TAX CREDIT – There is a federal tax credit for solar projects. In 2020 the tax credit was 26% of the total installed system cost. The credit will be phased out and you should talk to a qualified tax consultant to learn more about it.
View our comprehensive Solar Energy Information Packet (PDF) on everything you need to know before installing solar panels.
Avoid Solar Scams
- Installers who make false claims about excessive annual utility rate increases
- Installers who say not to contact your electric cooperative
- Misleading projected savings
- Deceptive sales tactics that push you to make a decision or sign a contract before you do your own research
- False claims that you will have no utility bills or will make money from energy generated
If you’re considering a solar array for your home, make sure you are working with a reputable company.
- You can find certified installation and design professionals with the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners® Professional Directory
- Because this is still an emerging industry with evolving technology, there has been a proliferation of pop-up companies in the market to make a quick buck
- South Central Indiana REMC wants its members to make informed decisions about whether solar is right for them
- After all, South Central Indiana REMC has a different “bottom line” that is not directly tied to the sale of a product or service
- We take a more holistic, objective view of how to achieve energy and cost savings for our members, and that may or may not include solar
- Before you sign the dotted line, please feel encouraged to email us with any solar array questions
- In this ever-changing environment, it’s important to remember you have a trusted energy advisor – your local electric cooperative
- We are a community-focused organization serving our diverse communities with innovative energy solutions and life-enhancing services
- Remember, we’re just one call or click away, so please reach out with any questions about your electric service or bills – we’re here to help
Email us for more solar installation answers and information.
- 2007 – SCI REMC began offering solar interconnectivity
- Interconnectivity allows PV systems to generate power and draw power from SCI REMC’s grid as needed
- SCI REMC buys energy back from the member at a flat rate of $.06 per kilowatt-hour (kWh)
- This rate far exceeds the actual avoided cost recognized by our power supplier and shows SCI REMC’s commitment to supporting renewable energy
- The program allows SCI REMC to incorporate more solar power into its system by buying back the surplus generated by the solar homes
- As of August 2022, SCI REMC has 256 members with solar arrays (with an average size of 8.5 kilowatts (kW))
It takes approximately 33 to 300 watt solar panels to power an average Indiana home. Larger homes or inefficient homes would require more.
Before Your Solar Panels Are Installed
Once your agreement is accepted, SCI REMC will perform a functional test to ensure that the system cannot back feed electricity on the lines during a power outage will be performed at the location of your interconnection. (Your meter will be replaced, and your account will change to the SPGS Rate.)
The application should be completed and returned to SCI REMC in order to begin processing the request. See Member Requirements for Installation and Interconnection of Small Power Generation Systems 50 kW or less for additional information. This application will be used by South Central Indiana REMC to evaluate the proposed installation to determine the impact of the proposed installation on the SCI distribution system and fellow members. Every effort should be made to supply as much information as possible. Incomplete applications may be returned for clarification.
Visit our Energy Audit Page to contact an energy advisor with questions or to request to schedule an energy audit.