AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with Xcel Energy recently reminded customers that there are policies on solar installations, and urged customers to get information on pricing before they decide to invest in solar panels.

“Customers who generate their own electricity with home solar panels generally want to stay connected to the central power grid for backup purposes,” Brad Baldridge, director of Customer and Community Relations for Xcel Energy, said in a news release. “And some customers are looking to sell back surplus energy.”

Officials said it is important for customers to contact Xcel Energy before they finalize the deal so they can understand the policies related to connecting home solar generating systems to the grid as well as knowing what they will be paid for surplus electricity. The rates are regulated by the Public Utility Commission of Texas, the release said.

Under the commission, customers who want to connect their home solar electricity systems to the local distribution grid for backup or customers who want to sell surplus energy have two options, according to the release. The options include:

  • Allowing customers to generate their own power to lower monthly bills;
  • Xcel Energy can install a special meter for a $20 monthly service fee, tracking the amount of surplus electricity placed back on the grid, allowing the company to be able to compensate those customers for surplus electricity at an “avoided fuel cost rate,” which is based on the “ever-changing” cost of coal and natural gas.”

Officials with Xcel Energy encourage customers to contact the area engineer at 806-378-2165 to understand the policies. More details can be found on the Xcel Energy website.