Renewable Energy and What You Need to Know Before Buying In

Last year around this time, we wrote an article about solar energy and a few of the items you need to consider and think about before going out and buying a set of solar panels for the roof on your home.

The checklist for this year remains the same, and BREC still fields a large amount of calls in regards to solar and wind energy. It is important to note, that despite what the rumor mill may say, we are not against renewable energy. In fact, we have renewable energy sources in our portfolio despite not having any type of federal mandate to do so.

If a member inquires about solar energy (which accounts for the majority of all renewable energy calls that come into BREC), we do our very best to explain the process as easily as we can. It comes down to the basic facts of metering your energy flow; both in and out of your home. Members who install solar or wind components without our assistance will most likely see their usage and bills increase. Why? Because without special metering devices there is no way to know what electricity is being generated versus consumed. The most common meter type used by BREC reads both directions as energy consumption. Special metering may require two meters wired properly, or an insert with two meters, or in certain areas one electronic meter with the proper programming. The meter will be used to distinguish between the electric used by the member and the electricity that is generated. This does not come without a price tag and it is important that members wishing to install renewables contact BREC for the cost associated with the equipment that is required.

As a cooperative, we are here for the benefit of our membership as a whole. BREC has created a Solar Information section under the Energy Services page of this website ( with the sole purpose of educating members who wish to install solar equipment. This section of the website displays all of the materials that members should familiarize themselves with before moving forward. The information includes: policies in regards to Net Metering and Technical Guidelines, Metering Diagrams, Agreement for Co-Generation, and an Application for Interconnection and Parallel Operation.

We are here to help our members in any way possible, and by consulting with us before purchasing your units we may be able to save you a headache down the road; and maybe even some money.