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The Solar Club™

The Solar Club™ is an electricity rate plan that improves the savings for people with solar panels in Alberta. The Solar Club™ allows people with solar panels to switch between a high electricity rate ($0.30/kWh) and a low electricity rate ($0.1075/kWh) depending on seasonal variations in solar energy production.

You can think of it as a “buy low, sell high” scenario.

The Solar Club™ allows people with solar panels to switch between a high electricity rate and a low electricity rate depending on seasonal variations in solar energy production.

All you need to do is decide which licensed Solar Club™ retailer you want to use and then make a donation to a local food bank or charity of your choosing. Once you signup, the retailer you’ve chosen will take care of switching you off of your previous retailer. The process is really quite easy!

The following energy retailers offer the Solar Club™. To get the process started click: “Sign Up Today!”

*Note that Glean does receive a small referral fee when you signup for a retailer using the links provided above. This fee does not have any affect on the price you will pay for electricity. Glean is a locally owned and operated Alberta based small business so we appreciate your support. Thanks in advance!

Get Energy is a Solar Club™ Retailer

Get Energy is Alberta’s Local Energy Marketer, and we are proudly based in the Municipality of Wood Buffalo and service the entire province. To date, we have helped many customers like you save between 5% and 30% of their monthly utility charges. These are costs that are unavoidable and we work hard to ensure that you are never paying more than you need to.

Park Power is a Solar Club™ Retailer

Park Power is an Alberta utilities company based in Sherwood Park. We provide electricity, natural gas, and internet to homes, businesses, and farms throughout Alberta. We’re not your traditional corporate utilities provider—we’re a 100% privately owned and operated small business that believes in supporting the local economy. Use the code GLEAN24 to get $50 off of your first electricity bill with Park Power (valid until Dec 31, 2024).

Shared Value Energy is a Solar Club™ Retailer

Shared Value Energy is a Alberta community retailer of electricity, natural gas, green energy and internet service. We share half our revenue with solar brokers and solar installers to support their important work of bringing microgeneration to Albertans. And we fundraise with local community groups to make it easy for them to raise long-term, stable revenue for the work they do. Sign up using Solar24 as a promo-code and save $50 on your first bill.

Utility Net is a Solar Club™ Retailer

UTILITYnet.ca offers competitive prices for electricity, natural gas and green energy to customers across Alberta. We pride ourselves on providing affordable solutions for your utility needs, accuracy in billing and top-level customer care.

Solar Club™ electricity rates are for customers who have solar panels on their home or business and are generating excess energy in the summer months that is sold back into the Alberta electricity system. Solar Club™ electricity retailers offer a high electricity rate that is meant to be used during months when more electricity is exported to the grid than is imported from the grid. The low electricity rate is meant to be used when more electricity is imported from the grid than is exported to the grid. Note that the price (either the low or high rate) applies to both the imports and the exports of electricity. 

Solar Club™ customers can move between the low and high rates at any time by submitting a “Rate Change Request” online through their account on their chosen Solar Club™ retailers’ website. Typically, customers will move from the low rate to the high rate in the spring when they begin generating more electricity and back again to the low rate in the fall when they begin generating less. 

Solar Club™ customers will have 50% of their imported energy offset or “greened” for free and they can also earn 2% cash back annually for all of their imported energy. This credit is paid directly in January or February for the previous year.  To become a member of the Solar Club™, you need only make a donation to a local food bank or charity of your choice.

Solar Club™ members will also benefit from their Price Match feature. When the highest of the Regulated Rate Option (RRO) prices exceeds 30.0 cents/kWh, members will receive that higher price for their exports and imports for that month.

The Solar Club™ is a good idea for most people with solar panels, but not everyone! The primary benefit of the Solar Club™ is created in the summer when your home exports more energy than it imports which builds credit at the high electricity rate. For this to occur, the home must have enough solar panels to be a net exporter of electricity in the summer. Our model suggests that a home that produces 70% (or more) of its annual electricity needs from solar, will produce enough in the summer to be a net exporter and benefit from the Solar Club™. In general, this is applies to most solar installations in Alberta. Check your solar installer’s original quote which should indicate the “percent electricity offset” they estimated.

A home that produces less than 70% of its annual electricity needs from solar will not produce enough electricity in the summer to be a net exporter. This means that there is no benefit to switching to the high export electricity rate and no summer credit is created. For these homes, it is best to remain on the low rate or other fixed rate all year round.

Feel free to reach out to Glean to ask if the Solar Club™ is right for you. The best way to get in touch is via email: info@goglean.ca

Most houses and small buildings in Alberta with solar panels do qualify for the Solar Club.

The technical requirements are as follows: To qualify for the Solar Club, you must be a small micro-generator with a system capacity below 150 kW and be net-billed using a bi-directional cumulative meter (not a bi-directional interval meter). A donation to your local food bank or charitable organization of your choice is also encouraged at your discretion.

Energy retailers that offer the Solar Club™ all offer the same high and low electricity rates. See the company descriptions above for more information about what makes each retailer unique.

Yes! If your solar installation has been sized to meet or exceed your annual electricity needs, you can expect to see $0 electricity bills for all or a portion of the summer. This is because the credit that gets built up by exporting electricity at the high rate can be put towards ALL of the fees on your electricity bill. Yes, that means fixed fees too! Any remaining credit will carry over into subsequent months.

We cannot guarantee any level of savings. It is impossible to predict exactly how many months you will have $0 electricity bills for as it depends on your electricity use habits and how much electricity your solar panels produce. However, many households see $0 electricity bills for the summer and well into the fall.

In Alberta, when it comes to the “other fees” on your bill like transmission, distribution and local access fee charges it is important to understand that the bulk of these charges are variable charges despite how they appear on your bill. This means that these charges will rise and fall with your electricity use and are at least partially charged per kWh. In Alberta, the “other fees” are charged to residential homes as follows:

  • The transmission charge is entirely variable – usually around 4 cents/kWh.
  • The distribution charge is a combination of a variable charge (usually around 1 cent/kWh) and a fixed per-day charge (usually around $1 – $2 / day).
  • The local access fee is calculated differently in each municipality but is often a variable (per kWh) charge.

This ultimately means that getting solar panels will reduce these “other fees” on your electricity bill, especially in the summer when solar electricity production is high. If you export enough electricity at the Solar Club™ high rate in the summer, the credit can be put towards all of the “other fees” on your electricity bill. Most people with solar panels that use the Solar Club™ will have $0 electricity bills for several months per year.

It is beneficial to use the high electricity rate to maximize the value of the electricity you sell to the grid in the summer. In the winter, you are a net importer of electricity so you drop down to the low electricity rate to minimize the cost of the electricity you are buying from the grid. The difference between the two situations can significantly improve the financials of an investment in solar panels.

In general, whenever a home is a net exporter of electricity in any one month, it is beneficial to be on the high rate for that month. When a home is a net importer of electricity from the grid, it is best to be on a low rate for that month.

For example, a home that produces around 100% percent of its annual electricity needs from solar (net-zero electrically) will typically benefit most from switching to the high rate in March/April and switching to the low rate in October/November. Solar Club™ members can switch between these two rates at any time with just 10 days’ notice, penalty-free to accommodate seasonal solar electricity fluctuations. Ask a Glean solar expert if you have questions about when to switch. Licensed Solar Club™ retailers send out reminder emails in April and October to remind members to switch their rates if they have not already done so.

To switch between the high and low Solar Club™ rates, simply log in to your My Account portal and submit a Rate Change Request. Visit your Energy Retailer’s website for helpful tutorial videos.

As an example, say you install solar panels that cover 100% of your annual electricity use (i.e. your home uses 8,000 kWh/year and your solar panels produce 8,000 kWh/year). Between April and October (summer), you are a net exporter of 2,000 kWh. Between November and March (winter), you are a net importer of 2,000 kWh.

  • If you remain on a fixed rate for electricity, you will earn the grid price for electricity exported in the summer and pay the grid price for electricity imported from the grid in the winter.
  • Switching to the Solar Club™ allows you to sell electricity to the grid at the high rate in the summer! This allows you to build up a significant credit that will go towards all of the fees on your electricity bill (including transmission and distribution). Any leftover credit will carry over into subsequent months. In the fall, you will switch over to the low rate and use up the credit as a net importer of electricity. The credit can last well into the fall and winter as you are using it up at the low rate. The difference between the two rates improves the payback of an investment in solar panels significantly.

Funding for the high rate for the Solar Club™ is obtained from the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) as they manage the supply of electricity in the province. The relevant clause in the Microgeneration Regulation is below:

The Solar Club™ was designed to encourage investment in solar in Alberta. By paying solar owners a reasonable price for the surplus green electricity they produce, the Solar Club™ makes Alberta’s electricity grid a little bit greener.

The Alberta Government may change the rules around Microgeneration at any time and we do not have any control over those types of changes. On the other hand, we are not aware of any pending changes to the regulations currently.

Glean is a broker of solar quotes. We are partnered with more than 15 of the best solar installers in Alberta that we have verified and vetted. We provide you with 3 solar quotes, an easy-to-compare quote summary (that includes a detailed financial analysis) and a quote review call to answer questions. Our service is free because we collect a service fee from the installer whose quote is chosen.

The best way to get the ball rolling is to fill out your information by clicking the button below.

If you have questions about Glean or the Solar Club™ reach out via the contact form below or give us a ring at 587-827-2023.