The City of Stillwater wants to explore ways to bring clean, renewable energy to our community. In fact, one of the City's strategic priorities is to provide reliable utility service that meets the needs of today's customers as well as to anticipate future ones, and that means opportunities for renewable energy.
Residential Renewable Energy Systems
Are you a City of Stillwater electric customer who is interested in owning and operating an energy producing system that uses renewable sources like wind, solar, or water?
Start with Energy Efficiency
Before installing a distributed generation system, consider reducing your energy use by making your home more energy efficient. Many energy efficiency measures have a faster return on investment, and the initial investment is less than that of a renewable energy system.
Learn more about Energy Tips and Rebates.
Is Renewable Energy Right for Me?
If you're still not sure, reading through our Distributed Generation FAQs is a good place to start.
If you've made your home as energy efficient as possible and now want to install a distributed generation system, contact the City before you sign or purchase any equipment.
City staff can help you understand the information provided in the Net Energy Metering Distributed Generation Tariff (PDF). It's important that you understand how the tariff works to ensure you receive the expected rate of return on the equipment.
Contact Stillwater Electric Utility's Kyle Muret.
- I’m considering installing a renewable energy source (wind, solar energy, water) system for my home to help control my energy costs. What do I need to know before I sign a contract with a vendor?
The City wants renewable energy in our community. In fact, one of the City's strategic priorities is to provide reliable utility service that meets the needs of today's customers as well as to anticipate future ones, and that means including renewable energy. However, before signing a contract and/or calculating any potential savings, it is important for customers to have a clear understanding of the methodology the City of Stillwater uses for calculating renewable electric energy and its credits.
If you are considering a renewable energy system, contact Electric Chief Engineer Kyle Muret at 405-533-8444 before you sign a contract. We can help you understand the City's policy.
- I keep seeing reference to “Public Power” and “Community-owned.” What does that mean?
Stillwater has been a community-owned electric utility since 1901 and has owned its own electric generation since 1903. In other words, Stillwater residents own the utility. Stillwater is the second largest municipal electric utility in the state as well as the largest transmission owner and electric generator. It is one of 191 of the nation's public power utilities to earn the Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) designation from the American Public Power Association for providing consumers with the highest degree of reliable and safe electric service.
- The vendor is promising a quick return on my investment. How will I know how much credit I’ll get on my electric bill once my renewable energy system is installed?
Because of the expense of these systems and the perceived savings, it is important for our customers to talk to the City before signing a contract that promises you will see savings on your electric bill if you purchase X, Y or Z renewable energy system.
- What does the City of Stillwater do with the revenue generated by providing public power?
A lot actually! In addition to providing jobs to about 65 people in the electric department who keep Stillwater's lights on, the revenue is used to replace or repair transformers and to purchase equipment like poles, wiring, street lights and bucket trucks.
Another important benefit of being a public power community is that a portion of the revenue is reinvested to improve and maintain crucial city services such as fire, police, parks and roads. Since Oklahoma cities rely primarily on sales tax to fund local government services, cities like Stillwater are fortunate to have this additional revenue source.
- Can I install a wind generator or solar panels on my home?
Yes. The City of Stillwater wants renewable energy in our community. In fact, one of the City's strategic priorities is to provide reliable utility service that meets the needs of today's customers as well as to anticipate future ones, which means including renewables like wind and solar.
- How does this affect my bill?
Any energy returned to the grid is credited at the wholesale energy rate. Distributed Generation (DG) customers also purchase any energy they receive from the grid at the wholesale rate, while customers without DG pay the retail rate. To help the utility cover fixed costs, DG customers will be charged a monthly service availability fee.
- I heard the City is looking at a community solar option. How is that different from DG?
Community solar (also known as a solar farm) is a shared resource that solar production can be purchased from. Portions of community solar farms can also be owned by community members. This option would provide renewable energy options to those who might be unable or unwilling to install an onsite DG system (renters, people who do not have the space for their own system, those who can't keep up with maintenance requirements, etc.)
Interested in learning more? Watch our Community Solar and Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) workshop.
- What is Distributed Generation (DG)?
Distributed Generation refers to an Energy Producing System that is located at or near where the energy will be used, such as solar panels on a house.
In a residential setting, common distributed generation systems include:
- Solar panels
- Small wind turbines
Download the Residential Renewable Energy Resources Permit Packet (PDF) for more information about DG interconnection in Stillwater.
- What is Net Energy Metering (NEM)?
Net Energy Metering (NEM) is the rate structure the City uses to bill Distributed Generation (DG) customers. With NEM, the customer’s energy usage is netted out. For example, if you produce more energy than you need, the excess will be put into the grid and you will be credited. When your system is not producing enough energy to match your consumption (like at night), you would purchase your energy from the grid. Read the Net Energy Metering Distributed Generation Tariff (PDF) for an in-depth look at the City’s NEM with a Fixed Wires Fee rate structure.