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Residential Solar and Distributed Energy Resources

 Residential Solar and Distributed Energy Resources

Interest in solar power generation is growing, and as your trusted source for power and information, Sam Houston Electric Cooperative has gathered information to help you decide whether solar or other distributed energy resources (DER) is a good option for you and your family.

To fully understand the true cost of a home solar (photovoltaic/PV) system, it is important for consumer-members to understand the operational reality of this form of energy and the actual expectations for potential energy savings.

While rooftop solar certainly works for many people, it’s not the answer for all. To help determine whether rooftop solar is right for you, have a trusted expert consider the following:

  • Overall energy efficiency of the home or building.
  • Age and pitch of the roof.
  • Orientation of the sun in relation to the home or building.
  • Tree coverage near the home or building.
  • Weather patterns for the region.

Solar FAQs
10 Steps Before Installing Solar
Questions to Ask Your Solar Contractor

Making the Choice to Add Solar Panels

Before a solar installation can be interconnected to Sam Houston EC, it must be inspected, and the Co-op needs the following documentation:

  • Signed Cooperative agreement for Interconnection and Operation of Customer Generation Contract.
    • The contract, found in the DERI Manual and Contract, must be signed by the Sam Houston EC member prior to installation. The contract must be notarized or witnessed by a Sam Houston EC employee. If the member listed on the account does not own the home and the solar panels, or is not the spouse of the homeowner, a copy of the lease agreement will also need to be submitted.
  • Proof of $1,000,000 (per occurrence) liability insurance on the homeowner's policy.
    • The insurance coverage is required in the “personal liability” portion of the homeowner’s insurance policy. An umbrella coverage policy is also acceptable. These policies typically cost between $150-300 per year.
  • An "As-Built" one-line drawing of the installation.
    • This needs to be a professional engineered drawing (print) of the installation, including every device, handle, breaker, and the wire size used at the location.
  • Spec sheets on the equipment being installed.
    • Spec sheets on the solar panels, inverter(s), and batteries (if a battery storage system is used) are required to verify all the installed equipment.

The documentation and inspection are necessary to safeguard the electrical distribution system in your area, as well as to protect you, your neighbors, and Sam Houston EC technicians. For more information, call 800-458-0381. Sam Houston Electric Cooperative recognizes that there is a great deal of consumer interest in renewable energy sources, and we stand ready to help you determine your best options.

Generation Rider - DER 1 (Systems 15 kW and less)
Generation Rider - DER 2 (Systems between 15 kW and 500 kW)
Generation Rider - DER 3 (Systems between 500 kW and 3,000 kW)
Placards Required for Distributed Energy Installation

Safety Around Solar

Solar panels and the components around them require special care and safety.

Emergency Responder Solar Panel Safety Precautions

Solar Service Form