Cooperative members across North Carolina are increasingly interested in harnessing the power of the sun to power their homes and businesses. Edgecombe-Martin County EMC is responding to the changing needs of our members, and we are working to incorporate renewable energy sources to our energy mix while also keeping costs as low as possible.
We’ve been planning for a brighter, more sustainable future for a long time. We’ve spent the past decade reducing our dependence on carbon-intensive power generation, and as a result, our current fuel mix is more than 60 percent carbon free. Coal-fired generation makes up less than 5 percent of our portfolio, compared with the national average of 13 percent.
More than half of our power comes from emissions-free nuclear generation, an extremely reliable, safe and affordable source of electricity. Our early investment in nuclear energy has allowed electric cooperative members and communities to benefit from the lowest carbon electricity in the Southeast. In addition, we are increasingly integrating renewables into our already diverse array of power sources as new technology, such as battery storage, makes renewable energy a more accessible option.
Looking to the decade ahead and beyond, North Carolina’s electric cooperatives remain focused on providing electricity that is reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible. To achieve this low-cost, low-carbon future, we are working toward two significant carbon reduction goals:
I’m interested in home solar. What’s the first step I should take?
Whether you’re just getting started or have thoroughly researc
If I add home solar, will I save on my electric bill?
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 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 basic facilities charges.
Edgecombe-Martin County EMC members with home solar are still connected to the grid. Because we are an at-cost, not-for-profit cooperative energy provider, standard charges that all members pay to ensure there liability 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 members for whom home solar is out of reach for financial, geographic or other reasons.
Can I make money by selling electricity back to my co-op?
This is a common question and a concept often clouded by misinformation. The best thing you can do is contact us, and one of our Specialists will help you determine if solar is the right fit for meeting your financial 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 our policies may differ from our neighboring co-ops because of our local circumstances and needs.
At Edgecombe-Martin County EMC, we compensate our members for their contributions at what is called “avoided cost”–or a price in line with what we pay for wholesale power before infrastructure and operational costs. Compensating our members for excess solar energy at “avoided cost” ensures they earn a fair price for what they produce while also paying for the infrastructure still utilized by the home.
Bottom line–Because policies vary, we encourage you to please contact us to make sure you have all the facts before purchasing solar installation. Solar installation companies may not be familiar with our co-op’s policies, and we don’t want anyone to enter into an agreement with misinformation
Can I calculate my potential savings
Yes! We have solar calculators below. Please keep in mind this is an estimate only; you will have a more accurate financial picture by working with us and a professional solar installation company.
Does Edgecombe-Martin County EMC support home solar?
Are you interested in installing solar panels on your home or business? If so refer to the important documentation below to learn more about how we work to interconnect solar projects to our grid.
Our Renewable Energy Center
Solar generation is available only when the sun is shining, but it’s our job to make sure you have reliable, dependable power 24 hours a day, seven days a week, rain or shine, day and night. That’s why we must maintain an infrastructure (the “grid”) to meet energy needs and ensure an uninterrupted flow of energy, regardless of the weather.
It’s important that you work with Edgecombe-Martin County EMC before purchasing equipment or signing a contract with a solar vendor to determine what type of system works best for you, your lifestyle, and your utility provider. Interconnecting a solar array with Edgecombe-Martin County EMC’s distribution system requires an application, as well as contractual agreements.