Energy Coop Launches Solar Energy Buy-Back Program

The Energy Cooperative, a 6500-member Philadelphia-based competitive energy supplier, recently announced the first purchase agreement under its residential solar energy buy-back program. The Cooperative agreed to buy the electricity produced by Andy Rudin’s residential solar energy system in Melrose Park, PA.

Philadelphia, PA – July 10, 2002 [] Under this innovative program, which according to the Cooperative is the first non-utility solar energy buy-back program in the nation, the Energy Cooperative will pay its members who have a photovoltaic solar system US$0.20 per kilowatt hour for the output from their system. Andy Rudin, who installed the 2.7 kW PV system at his own expense several years ago, will sell approximately 2800 kilowatt-hours of PV generated electricity back to the Cooperative each year. In return he will buy 100% renewable energy for his own use at just over US$0.07 per kilowatt-hour leaving a gross profit of nearly US$0.13 per kWh generated by his PV array. In other words, each kWh from the Rudin PV system will be traded for nearly 3kWh of still 100% renewable energy from the Cooperatives’ EcoChoice 100 certified green energy program. Since Mr. Rudin and his family use less than 2800kWh per year, they will also receive monthly payments for the surplus energy. “My rooftop system provides clean, local electricity, and the Energy Cooperative’s program makes it more affordable” said Andy Rudin. “I’m glad to be the Cooperative’s first solar energy provider and I truly hope that others join me by putting solar systems on their rooftops and taking advantage of the Cooperative’s financial incentives.” The Cooperative’s goal is to purchase 100,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of solar power by the end of this year. According to Nadia Adawi, Director of operations for the Cooperative, this would require about 35 additional members to take advantage of the program’s incentives. To do so they must install a photovoltaic system that meets specifications developed by the Sustainable Development Fund’s (SDF) solar grant program, which will provide grants of up to $8,000 for new PV systems installed under this program, making it even more affordable for participants. “Our goal is to change the economics of solar power,” said Nadia Adawi. “The Cooperative’s financial support can reduce the payback for a typical photovoltaic system by as much as 30%. We want all of our members to consider putting a [PV] system on their roof.”
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