As a local energy partner, Haywood EMC is working with member-owners to help them reach their energy goals. From increasing energy efficiency to interconnecting home solar panels, Haywood EMC can help you find the facts you need to navigate the decision-making process.
How does home solar really work?
Whether you are interested in mounting solar panels to your roof or would like to add ground-mounted solar to your property, the sunlight-to-electricity conversion process works the same:
- During daylight hours on low-cloud days, sunlight will shine on your panels. These panels are often called photovoltaic or PV panels because they support the photovoltaic process of absorbing and converting light to electricity.
- The newly created electricity must be converted from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC), which is the kind of current used in the United States because it can be “stepped up” to support traveling long distances and “stepped down” to an appropriate voltage for household appliances. The conversion to alternating current occurs in a device called an inverter.
- In most cases, the newly formed alternating current runs through your home’s electrical panel and powers some of your home energy needs. If your home needs more energy than the solar panels can provide, you will draw metered power from the grid, just as you would have before installing panels.
Whether you’re just getting started or have thoroughly researched solar energy, a great first step is contacting Haywood EMC. Your electric cooperative can help you gain a deeper understanding of your home energy use and review your energy savings goals – important consideration in determining whether solar is right for you.
Haywood EMC can also provide you with all the information you need about rates and interconnection requirements so you can have an informed discussion with a solar installer. There are more than 100 electric utilities in North Carolina, and sometimes solar installers might miss facts and details specific to Haywood EMC. The installer will need the correct information to provide you with an accurate financial overview.
Unfortunately, we’ve seen instances in our communities where member-owners have been misled and misinformed because of inaccurate information. Haywood EMC is here to be your energy partner throughout the process, helping you to arrive at a decision right for your home and personal goals.
Another thing we always recommend is to improve the energy efficiency of your home. A more efficient home stretches your energy dollar further, and you’ll recover the expense of your solar investment more quickly.
Ground-mounted and rooftop solar are both home solar solutions, and their difference are highlighted below for your consideration.
- Can place the array in an optimal location.
- Easy to clean panels and make any needed repairs.
- Most commonly installed; does not require expansive amounts of land and eliminates risk of tampering.
- Typically, less expensive than ground-mounted arrays.
- Utilizes unused space.
If home solar isn’t the right fit for you, Haywood EMC is working on an alternative called community solar. This community solar option will allow Haywood EMC member-owners to purchase the energy output of an ideally located, shared solar garden. This approach removes the barrier of a significant upfront investment and makes solar an option for those who can’t install rooftop solar, such as renters and people with highly shaded homes.
Depending upon the size and efficiency of your system and home, most homeowners see savings on their electric bill. Some solar companies make claims that you’ll never have to pay an electric bill again, and we caution this is simply not true. Your home requires electricity even if the sun is not shining, including at night and on cloudy days, which means you will continue to draw electricity from the grid and be billed monthly based on your home energy use and any flat facilities charges.
Haywood EMC member-owners with home solar are still connected to the grid. Because Haywood EMC is an at-cost, not-for-profit energy provider, standard charges that all members pay to ensure the reliability and safety of the electric grid for all will stay on your bill, no matter how much energy your home may produce. Without this structure, grid costs would unintentionally be shifted to member-owners for whom home solar is out of reach for financial, geographic or other reasons.
This is a common question and a concept often clouded by misinformation. The best thing you can do is contact Haywood EMC and one of our energy experts can help you determine if solar is the right fit for meeting your goals.
Each of North Carolina’s 26 electric cooperatives is independent and governed locally by an elected board of directors, which is responsible for setting and reviewing policies. This means Haywood EMC's policies may differ from neighboring co-ops because of local circumstances and needs.
Haywood EMC currently offers two solar rates listed below. For more information on the rates, please call us at 828-452-2281
Sell All - Requires the installation of a separate service. All energy generated is then metered and purchased by HEMC at 4.4¢ kWh.
Sell Excess - Electricity generated by the solar panels is consumed by the house first, and any excess/leftover electricity is purchased by Haywood EMC at 4.4¢ kWh.
Yes! The U.S. Department of Energy has a great tool for providing cost estimates on home solar installations. Please keep in mind this is an estimate only; you will have a more accurate financial picture by working with Haywood EMC and a professional solar installation company.
Haywood EMC supports all energy solutions that are a fit for our member-owners, uphold the safety and reliability of our grid and improve the diversity of our resources while also ensuring that costs are not shifted to member-owners without home solar panels. Our nation’s electric grid is shifting from a model where large, centrally located generating plants produce power and push it to the far corners of the grid to a model that incorporates more distributed energy resources and technologies, like home solar. This is an exciting time in our industry, and Haywood EMC is committed to supporting member-owners with facts and information so they can make a choice that is right for them. Contact Haywood EMC early in the process if you’re considering home solar, so your we can incorporate your new installation into its plans for managing electric traffic across our grid.
One of the current limitations of solar energy is that it must be used as soon as it is produced unless it is coupled with a battery storage system. Often, home solar systems are most productive in the middle of the day, when demand for electricity is typically low, which can create a mismatch between electricity coming onto the grid and what is necessary to supply our member-owners. We are working with our member-owners and power suppliers to manage this, and we firmly believe the value of home solar will increase as technology evolves and battery storage becomes more accessible.
Yes, there is a federal solar tax credit that allows you to deduct 26% of the cost of installing solar from your federal taxes. There is no cap on its value, and the average savings is approximately $9,000 according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Please note, these incentives decrease in 2023 and 2024.
Solar power and North Carolina's electric cooperatives