Updated 4 weeks ago

Going solar with Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative (WREC)

Written by Jamie Smith , Edited by Catherine Lane

Find out how much solar panels can save on your WREC bill

The Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative (WREC) services the Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Polk, and Sumter counties in Florida. Electric cooperatives are not-for-profit organizations that are owned and operated by their members.

Much like the rest of the country, you’ve probably seen a spike in the average Florida electric bill over the past few years. With prices on the rise, rooftop solar is becoming more and more desirable. If you’re a WREC customer and have ever considered going solar, here’s what you’re going to want to know. 

How much does a solar system cost in Florida?

Before we can get into anything, it’s important to understand how much solar costs in Florida. 

For an average 6 kilowatt (kW) solar system, Floridians can expect to pay around $15,540 before any solar incentives are applied. This works out to about $2.59 per watt of solar installed.

The table below shows the estimated cost of different solar system sizes in Florida. 

System size

Total before tax credit

Total after tax credit

4 kW

$10,360

$7,252

6 kW

$15,540

$10,878

8 kW

$20,720

$14,504

10 kW

$25,900

$18,130

Just remember that the actual cost of your solar system will depend on a lot more than where you live. Other factors to consider are your home’s electric usage, home characteristics, and solar equipment

Find out how much solar installations cost for your specific home

Does Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative offer net metering? 

WREC does not offer full retail net metering, but it does provide its customers with some payment for excess solar energy their panels produce.

Here’s how it works: your solar panels will produce energy your home uses first. By using electricity from your solar panels, you don’t have to take energy from the grid, which lowers your electricity bill. If your panels produce more power than your home needs, it’ll be sent to the grid. 

WREC will credit you for that excess energy on your electricity bill at a rate lower than the retail electric price. The current buyback rate isn’t specified on WREC’s website, but historically, it has equaled about half of the retail price.

Because the buyback rate is lower than what WREC charges for electricity, your solar savings are lower than if you were served by an investor-owned utility in Florida, like Duke Energy. But a properly sized solar system can still provide substantial savings for WREC customers!

Calculate how much you can save on your WREC bill with solar

Does WREC have any solar rebates or incentives?

No, Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative does not offer any upfront rebates or incentives for going solar.

However, Florida residents can take advantage of the federal solar tax credit if they have a taxable income. The tax credit equals 30% of the total cost of your entire solar installation and directly reduces your federal income tax liability.

Steps to going solar with WREC

A lot more goes into a solar panel installation than you might think. Solar panel installations can take weeks or even months to complete from start to finish with all the paperwork and approvals that need to go through. Here are the steps you can expect when installing solar with WREC:


  1. Design your system: Your solar installer will be able to design and size your system after completing an assessment of your home. Your electricity usage, local building code, and utility requirements will all be considered.

  2. Fill out a WREC Application for Operation: WREC requires customers to have an Application for Operation of Renewable Generation System (RGS) by a contractor and/or WREC member prior to installation. This application will need to include a detailed design of the solar system from your installer, along with additional system information. 

  3. Fill out interconnection/net metering agreement: WREC requires customers to fill out an interconnection and parallel operation agreement to be turned in with your application. This document outlines the responsibilities of the solar system owner.

  4. Obtain proof of liability insurance: WREC requires customers to include proof of $1,000,000 liability insurance for their system if it exceeds 10 kW in size.

  5. Install your system: Once these documents are reviewed and signed off on, you can begin your solar panel installation. 

  6. Complete system inspection: Before your solar system can be up and running, a full inspection must be completed by a representative from the state or municipality to ensure it meets all requirements and falls in line with regulations. WREC states that a full inspection and size verification must be completed before a net meter can be installed.

  7. Install net meter: Once inspection is complete, a bi-directional net meter can be installed to track how much energy you produce and use. WREC will install the net meter. 

  8. Permission to operate: When all the proper paperwork has been submitted, the inspection is complete, and your net meter is hooked up, WREC will give permission to operate your solar system.

Unfortunately, a solar installation isn’t as simple as just putting the panels on your roof and calling it a day. You could have your system up and running in just a few weeks, but it might take longer, depending on WREC’s approval time. 

Should you go solar with WREC? 

Going solar with WREC can save you money on your electricity bills, but because it doesn’t offer full retail net metering, you won’t get the same great savings as Floridians who are customers of Duke Energy or Florida Power and Light. There also aren’t any WREC solar incentives or upfront rebates to lower the costs of going solar.

But this doesn’t mean you should avoid going solar with WREC. Solar panels can still reduce your WREC bill, and pairing them with a solar battery may provide some extra savings and backup power. 

The best way to know if going solar is worth it for you is to talk to local solar experts. Solar installers near you will know better than anyone if the savings are worth it, and can help you make the right decision for your home. We recommend talking to at least three solar installers and comparing multiple quotes to get the best deal. 

Find trusted solar companies in your area to help reduce your WREC bill

Going solar with Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative FAQ

Written by Jamie Smith Content Specialist

Jamie is a Content Writer and researcher at SolarReviews. A recent graduate of La Salle University in Philadelphia, Jamie earned her B.S. in communications with a concentration in journalism, mass media, and public relations. Jamie has previously worked at a marketing company where she had the opportunity to highlight and promote small business owners through long-form stories and interviews. With a deep-rooted passion for creativity, Jamie stri...

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