Get Paid From the Central Georgia EMC Solar Rebate Program
Everything You Need to Know in One Place!
If you live in Spalding, Butts, Jasper, Monroe, Morgan, or parts of nearby counties in Georgia and want to install a solar power system, you may qualify for a $450/kW solar rebate in addition to the federal Investment Tax Credit.
Central Georgia EMC created their solar rebate program in 2008, and it’s available to residences with solar photovoltaic systems 10kW in size or less.
For the maximum 10kW-sized system, the rebate would be $4500. For a 5kW system, it would be $2250 (but this is for AC power, not DC – keep reading for more on this and other caveats…). This rebate piles on top of the ITC, which until 2019 pays you back with 30% of your total installation costs.
So if you’re a Central Georgia EMC member and want all the solar rebates you can get your hands on when you switch to solar, here’s a helpful guide to navigating the CG EMC rebate program to find out if this is a good deal for you. First question – do you qualify?
Do I Qualify for the Central Georgia EMC Solar Rebate?
Qualifying is pretty straightforward. You must:
- Be a residential customer of Central Georgia EMC (see territory map)
- Have a photovoltaic (PV) solar power system installed by a licensed contractor (like Coastal Solar)
- Follow all the building and electric codes relevant to you (your installer will make sure of this)
- Connect your PV system to the Central Georgia EMC power grid
- Have a minimum 5-year warranty for your system
Why does your PV system have to be connected to the grid? Because part of your agreement with Central Georgia EMC includes net metering. That means if you produce more electricity than you use in a given billing period, you’ll be paid for any excess kilowatts they end up needing.
A net metering agreement is a requirement to getting your solar rebate.
How to Apply for the CG EMC Solar Rebate
There’s a 5-step process to apply for the Central Georgia solar rebate. In general you would submit all the information below before beginning the installation process. They will then approve the system you plan to install. Then, after you install it, Central Georgia EMC will come out to inspect it. After that, they will finalize your rebate application, and once your system is switched on and working, the money (and solar power) will come your way.
Here’s the 5-step application process:
- Review the Distributed Generation Policy – found here
- Fill out Appendix A in the Policy – the application for interconnection
- Fill out Appendix B in the Policy – the Interconnection Agreement (net metering)
- Pay the $100 fee
- Fill out the Photovoltaic Rebate Application – found here
You can find out more and get questions answered on their main solar rebate web page here.
You can also call Central Georgia EMC at 770-775-7857.
The Interconnection Agreement is fairly technical. You’ll need to work with your solar installer to make sure your solar PV system meets all these requirements. Coastal Solar walks you through this process so you don’t have to worry about missing out on your rebate.
Commercial businesses who go solar (up to 100kW systems) can also forge a net metering agreement with Central Georgia EMC, but they do not qualify for the solar rebate. Only residences get the rebate.
Also, the Interconnection Agreement requires liability insurance for your solar system. However, this technically applies only to commercial businesses. Residences do not need this, according to an official we spoke with from Central Georgia EMC.
Important Information – READ THIS Before Spending Time Applying for the Rebate
Here are five other requirements and tips you need to know before you begin the rebate application process. Don’t do anything before reading these!
Rebate is Based on AC, not DC
Solar panels produce DC electricity. Your inverter converts it to AC, which is what your home and appliances use. That conversion process reduces your power efficiency a bit. Central Georgia’s solar rebate is based on the AC size, not the DC size of your system.
In other words, if you install an 8kW DC system, but after conversion it is found to be a 7kW system in terms of AC power, you would get a rebate of $3150 (7 x $450).
Annual Testing Requirement
Central Georgia requires you to have an electrical engineer perform various testing on your system each year. Coastal Solar can help you arrange for this.
They will charge you a couple monthly fees as part of the net metering program. There’s a $5 administration charge, and a $7 per kW charge. So if you have a 5kW solar power system, you’d be charged $40 per month (35 + 5). Consider this when factoring in the monthly savings you’ll be getting on your power bills from your solar panels.
How to Avoid the Monthly Charges
In 2016, Central Georgia created an alternate approach to charging for electricity called “Time of Use.” Rather than flat rates, it charges different amounts based on the time and day and the season. If you as a solar customer opt in to the Time of Use program, they will waive the $7 per kW fee. Talk to Central Georgia about this if you have questions about the details.
As of this writing (7/10/17), the Central Georgia net metering pays you 3.6 cents per kW produced beyond what you use for that month. So if you produced 200 kW beyond your usage, you’d get $7.20 for that month. If you produced 500 kW, you’d get $18. That rate is subject to change, so call them to confirm the current payout rates.
Also, your application process will be easier if you have certain information at hand. You’ll need the model name and number for your solar panels and inverter, the power rating for your panels, and the rated power factor and voltage of your inverter. A complete list of what you’ll need is found in the application portion (App A) of the Distributed Generation Policy.
Get Help Applying and Qualifying for the Central Georgia Solar Rebate
Coastal Solar has licensed, experienced, and better yet, friendly certified solar installers who will help you through the rebate application process. You don’t need to become an expert about electricity and power generation to get through this.
If you are a Central Georgia EMC member and are interested in going solar but want to maximize all your rebates, contact us today and get started so you don’t miss out on a single cent.