Town of Hearne places buyout order to pay homeowners who install solar panels

HEARNE, Texas – Hearne City Council on Tuesday passed a solar power buyback ordinance, which states that Hearne residents who install solar panels on their homes can receive $ 0.048 per kilowatt hour for any excess energy storage .

City officials told KRHD that this electricity purchased by Hearne from private citizens will then be used by the city to meet the energy needs of their own municipal utility customers.

“The consumer must know which contract he is signing,” advised Ed Hirs, an energy researcher at the University of Houston. “Who owns the panels … and is the electricity on your side of the meter?” [where] can you use it or does it go out into the network and you have to send it back? “

Hirs, an energy expert, suggested that while solar panel installations can be beneficial for homeowners, it is essential that the buyer be wary of and carefully read contracts to see who actually owns the panels and electricity. .

He noted that solar panels, batteries and installation cost thousands of dollars. In addition, this cost could take many years to pay off or recover. But, the panels could theoretically reduce or eliminate a homeowner’s municipal electricity bill.

“If you generate enough electricity to be self-sufficient, then you’re fine,” he said. “Most people will continue to use the network because there are times, of course, when the sun is not shining. “

ADC’s Megan Tucker and Ryan Kearnes in Bryan are running solar installations across Texas and hope to enter the Hearne market with the new ordinance. Tucker herself is a resident of Hearne and said there was no choice for her but municipal electricity and the state power grid.

She is happy to see the prescription arrive.

“It gives a lot of opportunity to people who were in the dark during the winter storm, and only gives opportunities in general,” Tucker said. “Because Hearne has kind of been underdeveloped, but it’s getting to be a bigger city day by day.”

Tucker and Kearnes pointed out that even though solar panels cost thousands of dollars, homeowner loans with credit scores as low as 600 are available.

“Energy prices have doubled since 2003, so this is something where you can lock in your bill for the next 30 or 40 years,” Kearnes commented.

Additionally, Kearnes explained that with adequate battery storage, solar customers can have their own resources in the event of a power grid failure.

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