After weeks of research and a zillion phone calls, Saturday we signed the contract for our solar installation and paid our deposit. For those who have solar or have investigated solar, you know that’s a good chunk of change.
All the deregulation/choosing a power company is confusing and I probably don’t have it all right but our power company has just been deregulated . . effective May 1 and we have to choose a new Retail Electric Provider (REP). There probably aren’t 50 homes in our county that are in this newly deregulated group . . it’s mostly the county south of us and our company is a very small company to begin with. The most confusing part is that all of our town, all of our county, all of our zip code, except the few of us on the small company, are all on a large company with lots of perks and benefits (and paying about half per kW that we’re paying). Those on the large company were deregulated 10 or 12 years ago so they’re not involved in all this. When we call the REPs, we give them our address and they apparently assumed we were with Oncor, even though we told them we were switching due to the new deregulation.
From about 36 REPs, there are 3 that will buy back excess renewable energy (in our case . . solar). So, we chose one, made our deal with the solar company, signed the contract, paid our money and were good to go . . til yesterday when I called the company to go ahead and make the switch and . . they told me they don’t offer any kind of net metering or buy back program for those of us in the newly deregulated group. WHAT? They were the company who sent their solar installers out here to check everything and give us a price! And now they tell us they don’t even offer that in our area! We’ve just signed a contract based on what you told us. Vince had emails from them, he had names and numbers but still . . they didn’t budge. We began calling the other two companies that offer buy back and I really spent about 6 hours on the phone. One company couldn’t even figure out where we were and I kept saying “Just tell me what’s the problem! Are you trying to find us on Google maps? Do you need our EIS ID?” and he said “They’ve taken away one of our tools!” I was so frustrated!
Last night, it looked like the best we could do was go with the third company who would buy back the extra power but at half of what we were paying when we bought power from them. Originally, we thought we had a deal that the company would give us full credit . . if they took 1 kW from us, they would give us back 1 kW when we needed it but the new plan appeared to be that they would take 1 kW and give us back 1/2 kW when we needed it.
Vince kept calling higher up the ladder and finally, this morning, we think we have a deal . . not with the original company, but with the 2nd company, and they will give us full credit for each kW they get from us.
I suppose we’re dealing with an area where there isn’t a lot of interest so the people we were talking to weren’t real familiar with it all but after spending the day dealing with all those power companies, and people who didn’t have a clue what I was talking about, who didn’t care that they had told us one thing and now were telling us something completely different . . companies who don’t stand by what they’ve told us . . it has me shaking my head in disbelief. What do you do when you call a company, ask questions and get answers .. even in writing? Do you believe what they tell you? Do you base your decisions on that information? What happens when you can’t trust what they’ve told you?
It also makes me wonder where’s the accountability?
I’m glad our issue seems to be solved . . but I keep waiting for the new company to call back and say “We changed our mind!”