The Energy Cooperative - Solar Energy Buy-Back Program

January 30, 2007


Through the Solar Energy Buy-Back Program, the Energy Cooperative (ECAP) offers a production incentive to members who generate power from a 1 kW to a 5 kW photovoltaic system. To participate, members choose between one of two pricing and payment options.

  • Option 1: Participants agree to purchase 100% renewable electricity through ECAP, at current cost (14.89 cents/kWh as of February 2006). ECAP agrees to buy participant’s gross solar generation at a rate of 28 cents/kWh and charges back 14.89 cents/kWh for each kWh of electricity used.
  • Option 2: Participants purchase electricity from PECO. (PECO’s “Price to Compare” for a Rate R customer for 2006 is 6.7 cents/kWh.) ECAP agrees to buy participant’s gross solar generation at a rate of 10 cents/kWh, net, not charging anything back for participant usage.
Participants must be a member of The Energy Cooperative, requiring a $5 annual membership fee. PV systems must meet specifications developed by the Sustainable Development Fund's (SDF) solar grant program, which provides grants of up to $25,000 for new PV systems. Members must also install separate metering capability that measures the output of the photovoltaic system. As part of the SDF's installation guidelines, the installer will predict the annual output of the customer’s system. ECAP uses this information or actual meter readings to determine how much solar power the customer will generate every month and sends a monthly check based on the estimate or actual meter readings. Contact program staff or see program website for details. Output from member-systems goes toward ECAP’s Green-e certified product, "EcoChoice100SM", containing 89% biomass, 10% wind and 1% solar. In 2004 ECAP purchased 72,051 kWh of solar power and in 2005 increased the purchase to 109,357 kWh. ECAP is currently purchasing power from 35 member-owned systems.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: Utility
Category: Financial Incentive
State: Pennsylvania
Incentive Type: Performance-Based Incentive
Web Site:
Administrator: The Energy Cooperative
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Solar Photovoltaics
Incentive Amount: 10 or 28 ¢/kWh
Terms: 2-year contract; 1 kW to 5 kW systems are eligible


Name: Staff - ECAP
Organization: The Energy Cooperative
Address: 1218 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia PA 19107
Phone: (215) 413-2122

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.