President’s Message – June 2021

Your Energy Connection

Doug Birmingham headshotIf you are thinking about adding rooftop solar to your home or business, I encourage you to contact Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative (GCEC) first. As your trusted energy adviser, we are here to help as you make energy choices.

We can answer questions and guide you through the process. That includes helping you understand how the process of adding rooftop solar works, including the ins and outs of connecting rooftop solar to our power system.

You will need electricity from us on cold winter mornings when the sun is not shining, and at night and on cloudy days. When your solar system is producing electricity, you may have excess power that will go onto our grid.

We support renewable energy resources—including solar energy—that makes sense for the people we serve. However, these resources must be reliable and affordable. That includes times when the sun is not shining, since people with solar still need electricity.

In addition to providing reliable service, your not-for-profit electric cooperative has a responsibility to ensure all members pay their share of the costs involved with providing service. We support members installing solar at their homes and businesses, provided all members pay their share of costs associated with their energy choices.

Providing electricity whenever and wherever it is needed is a complex process. Generation, transmission, substations, and distribution assets must be in place to provide service whenever a member needs electricity. Maintenance teams and equipment also must be in place to restore power if the system is damaged.

A large portion of the costs required to provide electric service are fixed, regardless of how much energy is used. Because of that, the fixed costs associated with serving members must be shared. It would be unfair for one group of members who do not or cannot install solar generation to subsidize another group who can afford solar. GCEC works hard to ensure each member pays his or her fair share for safe, reliable, affordable electric service.

PowerSouth Energy Cooperative, our wholesale power supplier, is pursuing a utilityscale solar project. That will diversify our power supply as we add more low- and zero-emission options.

Contact us to talk with an energy adviser for more information about adding rooftop solar to your home or business. We are connecting you to power for the future.

Doug Birmingham