Consumers Energy is offering an opportunity to over 140 state residents, including some in Grand Rapids, to engage in a solar energy contract, as part of their Experimental Advanced Renewable Program (EARP). Eligible homeowners have until July 5 to apply to be a part of this pilot program, which is designed to highlight how renewable energy provides significant long-term savings for households. The program includes a fifteen-year contract that sets a fixed-price for electric customers to sell the output of their solar generating systems to Consumers Energy. Program candidate qualifications are the following:
- Be a Consumers Energy customer account holder.
- Have a satisfactory payment history on your account for the past 12 months.
- Own or lease a solar photovoltaic system and have it installed on premises.
- Be willing to have a separate meter installed.
EARP began in 2008 and now provides 3,250 kW of renewable energy with 1,635 kW of energy reserved for residential systems with the program’s expansion. The program expansion started in July 2011 after the Michigan Public Service Commission gave approval for Consumers Energy to expand its renewable energy options.
Other Consumers Energy renewable energy options include the Green Generation and SmartStreet technology programs. Green Generation lets customers pay a small premium on their monthly bill in order to use and support renewable energy sources. SmartStreet technology, on the other hand, collects energy usage data than can be analyzed so customers can better manage their energy usage practices.