Advances in technology, changes in consumer preferences and political and regulatory pressures around issues such as environmental stewardship represent opportunities and challenges for electric cooperatives. Co-ops are exploring distributed energy resources (DER) programs to address these issues and look to NRECA to help balance policy priorities with local conditions while maintaining reliable, affordable and sustainable electric power.

From expanding the use of battery energy storage to helping co-ops understand the costs associated with developing a community solar program, NRECA provides members with resources to meet the changing energy needs of their communities and adopt the DER programs, policies and procedures that make the most sense for them. The resources below were designed to make it easier and less costly for you to manage and deploy DER at your cooperative.


  • This report is designed to help cooperatives assess whether member-facing DER in their service territory will meet cooperative objectives and how to compensate and recover costs of DER.

  • These summaries of state activities are updated quarterly to reflect changes in existing policies, how they affect co-ops and how they are being implemented across the country.

  • This guide explains some key changes and new settings in the IEEE 1547-2018 standard related to DER as well as their associated effects on cooperatives.

  • This interactive tracker captures the latest information on state policies impacting co-ops' deployment of DER.

Distributed Generation

  • This toolkit helps co-ops explore business models and develop project implementation plans for community solar projects.

  • NRECA created this toolkit to help electric co-ops address the legal, economic and technical issues raised by consumer-owned generation.

  • To guide co-ops on how to determine the alternative smart inverter settings to comply with the the DER interconnection standard (IEEE 1547) and to achieve the benefits of the grid services, NRECA is working with cooperatives to conduct field tests. These NEETRAC reports relay the findings of this effort.

Battery Storage

  • This report provides an up-to-date resource on battery technology, cost trends, battery storage adoption drivers, and provides co-op case studies on battery energy storage application.

  • This article highlights co-ops across the country that are using battery storage to increase reliability and save themselves and consumer-members money.

  • Can small-scale, distributed storage be used effectively for energy management? See how these co-ops are doing it by reading this article.

Demand Response

  • With this tool, co-ops will be better able to evaluate and simulate their peak shaving potential.

  • Cooperatives have developed a planning tool to project the expected cost and benefit of demand response (DR) programs.

  • This article explores the use of smart thermostats and how they can help utilities regulate demand and engage customers.

  • This report looks at a pilot of ductless cold climate air source heat pumps to test their performance in cold conditions, their cost effectiveness relative to using propane as heating fuel, and their potential to increase MPE’s electricity sales.

Energy Efficiency

  • This advisory outlines the drivers shaping new and innovative subscription pricing models, explains what these models can look like for electric cooperatives and their member-consumers, and highlights their key benefits.

  • This article provides practical guidance for any co-op considering a consumer-centric financing program to fund energy efficiency or solar projects.

  • This three-part article series explains the benefits of engaging implementation contractors as an extension of cooperative staff in meeting present and future energy efficiency resource and expertise needs.

Electric Vehicles (EVs)

  • Read this article to see how EV charging can be aligned with supply to reduce peak demand and increase the load factor of the grid.

  • This article details possible programs that co-ops could explore to support the availability of electric vehicle supply equipment.

  • To mitigate the high cost of electric school buses, some school districts and co-ops are leveraging available funding programs to test the benefits of electric bus fleets. This article discusses these developments and provides three co-op case studies.

  • This advisory reviews key points to consider when exploring a public charging program and provides information on useful resources for co-ops.

More Resources

All of these and more co-op specific DER tools are available on our Distributed Energy Resources page. Peruse the featured resources or use the filters on the left side of the page to find the resource most relevant to you.

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