Calculate how much you can save on your SECO Energy bill with solar panels

Average 25 year solar savings for a SECO Energy customer: $34,472

Average solar panel cost: $19,822 - $24,227*

Estimate solar panel cost and savings based on your location, roof and power use.

*Solar panel cost varies by location, solar panel mqanufacturer, system size and the amount of electricity your home uses.

Adding solar panels and switching rate plans can lower your Sumter Electric Cooperative electric bill

Updated: October 21, 2020

There are three ways you can reduce your SECO Energy bill: changing your habits, switching your rate plan, and adding solar panels.

You've probably heard a lot about reducing energy consumption by doing things like switching to LED lightbulbs and adding insulation to your walls, but these fixes are relatively easy compared to the far more impactful step of making changes to your lifestyle.

The second thing you can do is switch your rate plan. SECO Energy doesn't offer time-of-use billing that can help you save money by shifting your usage of energy-intensive appliances to off-peak hours, but there may be other options for you .

Finally, you can reduce or even eliminate your electricity bill by installing solar panels on your home.

Solar panel cost calculator

How much can I reduce my Sumter Electric Cooperative bill by switching to a different rate plan

For some people, the savings from switching rate plans may only be a few dollars per month, but for many it can be $20-$100 per month. That's between $240 and $1,200 that you may now be paying to Sumter Electric Cooperative each year for no reason.

Finding out what's available to you is as simple as a phone call or email to Sumter Electric Cooperative. Even a small savings can be worth it.

Are solar panels worth it for Sumter Electric Cooperative customers?

Probably. With the 26% Federal solar tax credit, and available sales and property tax exemptions available in Florida, home solar panels deserve your attention as a worthy investment as a Sumter Electric Cooperative customer. Sumter’s excess solar generation rate rider also allows you to at least get some credit on your power bill for the excess solar electricity your panels produce which you can’t use onsite. Your credits, while at a lower rate than you pay for electricity, roll over to the next month’s bill.

Does Sumter Electric Cooperative offer full 1 for 1 net metering credits for exported solar power

No, Sumter Electric Cooperative does not offer full 1 for 1 net metering. This means that when you export surplus power from your solar panels, you will be paid less by the utility than what you are charged to buy the equivalent amount of power from the grid.

The amount you are paid by the utility is known as a feed-in tariff. In the case of Sumter Electric Cooperative, this feed-in rate is $0.07 per kWh.

SECO Energy pays this feed-in rate only for excess energy, meaning you'll still save the full retail rate for any solar energy you use in your own home. When the sun is high in the sky and your panles are producing more than your needs, that energy is what will be recorded as excess and paid out at the lower rate.

What incentives, tax credits and rebates are available to SECO Energy customers for installing solar?

The major financial incentive currently available until the end of 2020 is the 26% federal solar tax credit. The way this works is that the full cost of the system needs to be paid to the installer, and this tax credit can then be claimed back as cash when you next do your taxes.

Many states, local governments and utilities also offer incentives for homeowners who go solar. This help can take the form of state tax credits, rebates, tax breaks, SRECs or even performance-based incentives. The best part is that all of these incentives apply in addition to the federal credit.

Here is every incentive you may be eligible for as a SECO Energy customer:

Table 1: Incentives
Upfront Incentives Value*
Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit (Federal) -$7,738
PACE Loans (State)

Loans that are paid back through an increase in property taxes. Loans are attached to the property so if the homeowner moves, the next property owner pays back the loan.

Varies
Property Tax Abatement for Renewable Energy Property (State)

100% of the value of a solar energy systems is exempt from property taxes.

Varies
Florida Keys Electric Cooperative - Solar Loan Program (State)

Competitive interest loans of up to $35,000 for solar and energy storage. On-bill repayment and 10-year term with no penalty for prepayment.

Varies
Net Metering (State)

Investor-owned utilities are required to offer their customers the full retail rate for each excess kWh they export to the grid.

Varies
Orlando Utilities Commission - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program (State)

$2,000 for installing solar+battery systems. Battery must have capacity of 8 kWh or greater.

Varies
Jacksonville Electric Authority - Solar Battery Incentive Program (State)

$4,000 rebate per home/business on the purchase of a qualified battery storage system.

Varies
Lakeland Electric - Residential Energy Efficiency Loan Program (State)

0% interest loan up to $5,000, must be resident and homeowner, On-bill repayment

Varies
Solar and CHP Sales Tax Exemption (State)

Solar energy systems are exempt from state sales and use tax

Varies
SELF Loans (State)

Unsecured personal loans for those in underserved communities for sustainable home improvements.

Varies
TOTAL -$7,738

*Based on 12.09 kW system, average installation cost $29,763

How much does installing solar panels save the average Sumter Electric Cooperative residential customer?

If you input the details for a SECO Energy customer with a power bill of $170 per month into the best online solar panels calculator, it tells you that you need a 12.09 kW solar system that will produce 18,533 kWh per year and that this system will return the owner a $34,472 profit after repaying the cost of the system.

The solar savings possible for you as a SECO Energy customer will depend on the amount of electricity you use and the cost of the solar system you buy. Savings also vary based on the direction of your roof or any shading of your roof that affects output.

Here is a monthly and lifetime solar savings estimate for the same relatively typical SECO Energy customer with a $170 per month electric bill prior to solar and who installs a 12.09 kW solar system.

How much do residential solar panels cost for SECO Energy customers?

Solar prices near you

Cost range of local prices

$15,410-$18,834

Net profit (savings less system cost)

$30,414-$37,173

Payback period

9.4-11.5 years

Recommended size for the selected utility bill

11.1kW

Solar panel cost calculator

Detailed information about your estimate

Table 2: Estimate details

System Size (for 100% usage offset)

12.09 kW

Annual Power Generation

18,533 kWh

Pay-back time (assuming Cash purchase)

12.1 Years

Internal Rate of Return (IRR) on Investment

1.5%

Gross cost

$29,763

Total Upfront Incentives and Rebates

-$7,738

Net Cost of System after rebates and incentives

$22,025

Total Cost of Utility Power Avoided over 25 years

$56,497

Please note that the investment return figures do not include the possible increase in property value.

What are the environmental impacts of Sumter Electric Cooperative customers installing solar panels?

While most homeowners decide to install solar panels because of financial savings over time, the environmental impacts of this choice are the primary motive for others. Here is a breakdown of the environmental benefits from a Sumter Electric Cooperative customer installing a 12.09 kW solar system on their property:

A solar system generating 18,533 kWh per year will save you money AND make the world a nicer place

Saves you

$1,379

on average per year

Reduces CO2 emissions

9.17

tons per year

Equivalent to planting

64 trees

per year

Equivalent to driving

20,294 mi

less per year

CO2 emissions calculation based on the electricity generation and emissions data for your state in 2015 as published by the US Government Energy Information Administration.

What factors affect the price of solar panels for Sumter Electric Cooperative customers?

The cost of installing solar panels will vary with brands of solar panels and inverters you choose and also the installation company you choose to install them.

It is common to see really good systems, using quality brands of equipment, being sold for around $2.46 per watt or $22,025 for a standard 12.09 kW solar system after the customer claims the 26% federal solar tax credit.

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