EEI investigating feasibility of on-site PV as PAYS® upgrade

On May 23, 2019 Clean Energy Works contracted with EEI to research whether on-site photovoltaic systems, with or without battery back-up, might be a viable as PAYS upgrades for utility customers in one or more southern states.

EEI’s research is one of the projects included in Groundswell’s grant for Accelerating Low-Income Financing and Transactions for Solar Access Everywhere (LIFT), a Department of Energy Grant (DE-FOA-0001840 from the Solar Energy Technologies Office).

EEI’s research goals are to:

  • Determine if a utility investment in a PV installation at a customer’s premises can be sufficiently cost effective, after utility incentives, state or federal tax credits, or other incentives are applied, for the upgrade to qualify for a PAYS tariff under the 80% rule in a program that meets PAYS essential elements and minimum requirements.
  • Determine whether the type of utility (i.e., coop, municipal, or investor-owned)and/or whether the utility’s PV upgrade procurement financing structure (i.e., buy with internal capital, loan, lease, services agreement) limits its ability to offer a cost-effective PV package to customers in a program that meets PAYS essential elements and minimum requirements.

While the project’s completion deadline is March 15, 2020, EEI hopes to conclude its research and report shortly after January 1, 2020. If you are interested in this project and think you have valuable information to share, please email

EEtility, Inc. completes first PAYS® projects in Tennessee

In March 2019 Appalachian Electric Cooperative (AEC) in New Market, Tennessee became the 18th utility in the eighth state to implement a PAYS program. By May, nineteen home upgrade offers to co-op members have resulted in 19 participants signing up for weatherization upgrades. Ten projects have been completed according to Tammy Agard, CEO of EEtility, Inc., the program operator. 

AEC is the first Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) cooperative to receive authorization to implement a PAYS program. If AEC’s U-Save Advantage program is successful, other TVA co-ops have indicated interest in replicating the program.