June 28, 2022
RE: Solar Project for The Oaks Community – VOTES DUE BY MONDAY, August 8th, 2022 @ 5:00 pm
As many of you are aware, the Office, Board and Solar Committee have done extensive research on a large solar project which would provide reduced electricity rates for our entire Community (all homes and common areas such as the Clubhouse and Wastewater Plant), helping us to reduce Member utility expenses and control costs for the HOA.
As part of this process, the team has narrowed down the bids of three companies, and we are asking for Owners to vote “YES, or NO” on The Oaks proceeding with this project. The project will proceed with a Letter of Intent to the selected provider (Select Solar), then the provider will then work on financing and subsequent engineering, then a contract, but the basics of the project have been confirmed (see attached Q&A), and we are seeking Community approval to proceed with the project by vote, based on the enclosed ballot.
Additional Community meetings will be held as further details are outlined, as questions arise, etc., but for now, we need all Owners (one vote per lot, by an Owner on title/deed copy on file with The Oaks office) by no later than August 8th, 2022.
You have the option to vote by mail, return to The Oaks Community Association, 5607 Jackson Valley Road, Ione CA 95640 to be received no later than August 5th, 2022, close of business, OR you may bring it by the office, OR you may place it in the drop box. No copying of Ballots is allowed, each ballot is individually identified, so if you need a replacement, please contact the office. We need 70 votes to proceed, so everyone’s participation is appreciated.
This project will save our Community significantly on electricity costs, which, as you all know, are escalating frequently and at a fast pace.
If you have any further questions before casting your vote, please reach out to the office or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to answer your questions or concerns, or we will have the Committee address.
The Oaks Community Association Board and Solar Committee
Frequently Asked Questions regarding Power Purchase Agreements & The Oaks Solar Project
Q.1 Sounds too good to be true, how can PPA company guarantee $0.15/KWh?
A.1 The PPA is basing their rate on a reasonable rate of return for their investment over the life of the contract. Because solar maintenance costs are low and the energy is from the Sun, the PPA company can provide electricity at a lower cost over time.
Q.2 I know someone with a rooftop PPA, and they got hit with a huge PG&E bill at the end of the year, something called a “true-up.” Will we get that too?
A.2 Yes there is an annual “true-up” with PG&E. If any solar customer, PPA or not, uses more electricity than their solar system generates they will owe PG&E at the end of the year.
Q.3 Great, so what is going to be my “true-up” and how will you determine it?
A.3 That is great question. If TOCA members don’t use more electricity than typical there won’t be a true-up.
If we do have a “true-up,” your portion will be calculated based on how much electricity you used over your 12-month allotment of 7,500KWh/year. This allotment is based on the size of our allowed system and is greater than 150% of your current PG&E annual allotment of 5,000 KWh. (Members who are signed up for Medical or CARE programs with PG&E will not receive a true-up as required by PUC rules).
Your excess usage will be compared against the total excess usage of all TOCA members and TOCA common areas. All excess users, including TOCA common areas like the clubhouse, pool, sewer pond, will share in the excess cost proportionally. While we hope for no “true-up” cost, TOCA cannot guarantee there will not be some level of true-up. You will still get the rest of your electricity at only $0.15/KWh which is a huge savings throughout the year.
Q.4 OK, so if I vote yes when will my rate go down?
A.4 Because our solar system will be so large, it will take approximately one year to get the necessary PG&E permits and build out the system. The soonest we could anticipate seeing savings would be Summer of 2023. Sorry, if we could do it faster, we would!
Q.5 OK, about that size, where is this “solar system” going to fit in the park?
A.5 The system will not be in the park. It will be across Jackson Valley Road, on the 40-acre parcel housing our sewer plant and RV parking area. It will face away from our park and be approximately 12’ at its tallest. The portion nearest the park will be obscured by new landscaping anticipated with the installation.