Farmers Bill Plans
Bill Plans

Creating your own power.

Renewable generation, also known as Distributed Renewable Generation (DRG), allows for members who use alternative power sources to receive tax incentives and other benefits. Download and review the PDF documents here to learn more about Farmers EC’s guidelines, standards, and processes. Then complete the Interconnection Agreement when you’re ready to install your power solution.

Solar system installation must be inspected to ensure compliance with Farmers EC guidelines.

Apply for a Solar/DRG Interconnection

  • Please review and follow the steps below before installing the solar/DRG system and submit the $500 application fee.
  • For general renewable energy related questions, please refer to our Farmers EC DRG Guidelines, or call our Member Care staff at 903-455-1715, or email DG@farmerselectric.coop.

Renewable Generation Installation
and Application Process

Please review and follow the steps below before installing the solar/DRG system.

Before Installation

Step 2

Farmers EC will review documentation.

Step 3

Farmers EC will reply if there are issues with the documentation needing correction. If you do not hear from Farmers EC within five business days of submission then the project is approved for installation.
 

After Installation

Step 4

After solar/DRG system is installed, submit the Request Inspection Form.

Step 5

Farmers EC will perform inspection. (Inspectors will call Member to schedule.)

NOTE: a $250 charge will be billed to installing party for failed inspections. Please ensure the system is installed per Farmers EC installation requirements.

Step 6

If APPROVED, inspectors will email Permission to Operate (PTO) to all parties.

If FAILED, instructions will be sent for corrections.

Farmers EC Solar/DRG Guidelines

Get details on DRG installation procedures and guidelines for Farmers EC members.

Solar Power/DRG Member Guidelines (PDF)

 

Learn how to read and calculate our solar energy production and buy back.

Calculating Your Renewable Output (PDF)

Sales and Purchases Tariff

This document details rules and regulations for DRG system interconnections and explains Farmers EC’s terms and rates for purchasing power.

Sales and Purchases Tariff (PDF)

Interconnection Agreement

Download and submit this Agreement to Farmers EC when you are ready to begin your DRG project.

Interconnection Agreement (PDF)

Solar/DRG FAQs

Should solar power generation be my first option to reduce my energy bill?

In many cases, it is cheaper to upgrade your home’s efficiency measures thus reducing your bill than to install a solar system. Generally, you want your home to be as efficient as possible, then investigate your solar production options.

What is the process to purchase a solar system?

The most important step for you as a cooperative member and homeowner is choosing a reputable, honest installer who will guide you through the sales, installation, and interconnection process, and who will be there for maintenance or repair issues. Once you’ve chosen an installer and agreed to the sales contract, they will work directly with us at Farmers EC to ensure a safe interconnection.

How much will solar system cost at my home?

This is largely based on the size of the system you install. A good estimate would be $3 to $4 per watt. For example, a 10,000 watt (10kW) system might cost you roughly $30,000 to $40,000. There is a federal solar tax credit that can subsidize this cost up to 30% depending on the year. We recommend contacting multiple installers and getting multiple quotes. 

How big of a DRG system should I put in?

The size of the solar system should be specific to your own usage needs. You will want to take many things into consideration when choosing the size of your solar system. Contractors can help with the process, but it’s good to know how to size a system yourself.

Step 1

Contact the Cooperative and ask for a 12-month usage history. You can use this to gauge your consumption trends. Look at the usage (kWh) and the demand (kW) values for each month.

Step 2

You can use sites like pvwatts.nrel.gov to model a system. It will give you a monthly estimate on how much a DRG system of any given size will produce based on your
geo location and other variables.

Step 3

Compare the monthly kWh data from Steps 1 and 2 and customize your system to your needs.

Step 4

If the system is larger than 15 kWdc, verify that the size of the DRG system does not exceed 110% of your maximum historic demand.

Will I still get a bill from Farmers EC if I install a solar power system?

Yes. Solar power systems do not produce power at all hours of the day. Even during a normal sunny day, you might have periodic cloud cover, or temporary fluctuations in usage at your home. And of course, after the sun goes down, all your electricity will still come from the grid.

How much money can I expect to save with a solar system?

Many factors go into the potential savings including system size, how much electricity you use and what time of day you use it, the overall efficiency of your system, panel location, shading issues and more. But as a general example, households using around 1300 kWh a month installing a 9-kW system might expect about a 40% reduction in the total cost of electricity.

Please read this part carefully: If a salesperson is claiming that you will no longer have an electric bill or claiming with certainty that you will experience a guaranteed reduction (i.e. “you will save 70% on your bill every month!”) it is most likely untrue. Please contact us with any questions as we are here to serve you, our members.

Will my solar system power my home if we lose power from Farmers EC?

The answer is almost always no, it will not. Most solar systems are designed to automatically shut down if there is a loss of power from the grid, such as during a storm or a scheduled maintenance outage. This is a safety feature designed to prevent your system from sending power back onto the grid when linemen are working to restore power. There are set ups available where your home can go “off grid” but they tend to be more complex and expensive to install.

How do I lower my power bill with a solar system?

There are two ways to lower your bill with solar.
 
1) Reduce the electricity you purchase from Farmers EC – Electricity produced by your solar system will first supply your home, and your home will utilize that electricity before it pulls from the grid/Farmers EC. This utilized solar production should lower the amount of electricity you purchase from Farmers EC as compared to prior bills. You can think of this as a 1:1 rate of return, but only if you USE those kilowatt hours. Keep in mind, the number of kWh’s that you produce and use will not show up as a line item on your bill.
 
2) We pay you for the extra electricity you don’t use – Sometimes you may produce more electricity than your home requires. In this case, the excess electricity will be sent back to the grid, and you will be credited for the “avoided cost,” which is the amount Farmers EC would have had to pay for this energy in our normal course of business. Currently the rate is around $.06 per kWh, and this will show up under “BILLING SUMMARY” on your bill as “DG AVOIDED COST.”

How do I know how much solar energy my system produces?

Your solar installer should provide you with a software application for your computer or phone where you can monitor your system and production. Your total solar production will not be reflected anywhere on your monthly bill from Farmers EC. The line item mentioned above, “DG AVOIDED COST,” is not your total production, it is the excess electricity that your home did not need and sent back to Farmers EC. 

What is Net Metering?

Net Metering refers to the way an electric utility compensates for excess electricity pushed back to the grid from a solar array. Under Net Metering, a 1:1 credit is created for each kWh you send back to the grid. At the end of the billing cycle, the number of kWh’s delivered by the utility is reduced by the total amount of kWh’s sent back to the grid. Net Metering essentially means the utility pays the full “retail” rate for electricity they could have purchased for much less.

Does Farmers EC offer Net Metering?

Farmers EC does not offer Net Metering to members installing a new solar system. Under the Farmers EC rate program, the member receives compensation for the excess electricity sent to the grid, but it is limited to the amount Farmers EC would have had to pay for that electricity in the normal course of business. Your salesperson likely works with many different utilities and may not understand that Farmers EC does not offer Net Metering for new installations. If their proposal assumes a 1:1 rate for the electricity you will send back to the grid, or if they are claiming that you will not get a bill or it will be reduced to almost nothing, they are overestimating your potential savings. Please refer them to this FAQ, or they can call or email, us here at Farmers EC so that we can all make sure you’ll get what you’re paying for.

Which installers do you work with?

Farmers EC does not maintain a list of installers we recommend or exclude, but we do maintain a list of all solar installers who have successfully built and interconnected systems to our grid. Please contact us and the list will be provided to you. We advise getting a referral from a trusted source, and asking your potential installer for a list of previous and ongoing customers that can give feedback on their personal experiences with the group.

Still have questions? Feel free to contact us at 903 455 1715 or email: DG@farmerselectric.coop.