First Electric Coronavirus Response - IN THE MATTER OF ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS RELATING TO THE COVID-19 STATE OF EMERGENCY, DOCKET NO. 20-012-A ORDER N0. 1, outlines the Emergency Order. It’s also available to First Electric members upon request.

Facts About Solar

Image of lady in front of her house with solar panels on the roof

UNDERSTANDING SOLAR QUOTES

Solar energy is a great energy source. However, a common-sense approach must be used when confronted with sales presentations that sound too good to be true. Understanding solar quotes can help you to make an informed decision. If you are considering solar, contact First Electric at 800-489-7405 for help calculating the impact a solar installation will have on your electric bill.

“Energy independence” and “taking control of energy costs” are phrases that sound empowering and attractive when used. Remember, the sun does not shine 24/7, and having utility power is still the most reliable source of energy you can utilize. Battery storage options do exist but are very expensive and have their limits.

Most solar arrays being installed today require utility power to function. If utility power is off, the solar array DOES NOT continue providing energy to the home.

Many solar quotes apply a three to four percent annual increase to your current energy rate. This practice drastically increases estimated savings over time and is simply a tactic to create a sense of urgency in your need to go solar.

Over the last 20 years (2000-2020), First Electric’s residential rates averaged a 1.5 percent annual rate increase. During the last 10 years (2009-2019), the average was 0.7 percent. *Arkansas has the seventh lowest residential price of electricity. *Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-861M, Monthly Electric Power Industry Report for January 2020.

A tax credit is an allowance by the federal government. If you meet eligibility guidelines, the qualified amount can be subtracted from the amount of taxes you owe in a given year. A tax “credit” does NOT result in a cash-in-hand refund, rather it simply reduces the amount of taxes, if any, that you owe.

The ability to “eliminate your electric bill” is another claim often made. For as long as you have electric service from First Electric, there are costs associated with having that service available to you 24/7/365 that must be recovered.

With solar, the minimum monthly electric bill you can expect is currently *$26 plus applicable taxes. *NOTE: Subject to change.

BEST PRACTICES:

  • Never sign a contract without taking the time to research every claim, promise and figure.
  • If you choose to have solar installed, do not oversize your system. Excess production has little value and increases the time it takes to recoup your investment.
  • Focus on energy efficiency improvements first. It can reduce your overall energy use, reduce the size of the solar system you need, and can potentially save you thousands of dollars.
  • Grid-tied solar installations require utility approval.
  • Make sure your property or homeowners association or city regulations permit the installation of solar.
  • Contact First Electric and let us help you understand the impact installing solar can have on your electric bill.

CALL US FIRST!

Installing solar on your home is an important financial decision. Some companies are making false claims and using pressure tactics to make solar sales. If you’re considering solar, CALL US FIRST at 800-489-7405. As your trusted energy provider, we can explain the benefits and billing of solar.

Four steps before installing solar