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Do you have questions about the interconnection process? How does net metering work and what are renewable energy credits? Search our FAQs to get answers to common questions about going solar.
What is an interconnection?
An interconnection is an electric connection between a utility's energy grid and a private generation system that has the capability to send energy to a utility's energy grid. Private generation systemsthat can send energy to a utility's energy grid are also referred to as distributed generation (DG).
Yes, an interconnection application is required for all private generation systems that can send energy to the grid. An interconnection application is needed to determine if:
there is enough capacity on the smart grid for energy sent from your private generation system,
any work needs to be performed and the cost of that work, and
a private generation system is compatible with the smart grid.
If PECO is not your energy supplier, PECO will still connect you to the smart grid and deliver energy to you when your private generation system does not produce all the energy you need. You will still need to submit an interconnection application to PECO.
How do I start the interconnection application process?
You can start by visiting PECO's Smaller Generators page to access PECO's interconnection application. PECO's interconnection application. Under "Interconnection Applications and Agreements" you can submit your application electronically and download related documents.
Is there an application fee and how is it determined?
Yes. The fee varies by interconnection level. A table of fees can be found
Please note that if you ever decide to increase the size of your renewable resource system, you must file a new application and pay another application fee.
Can application fees be mailed to PECO?
Yes. Please send payment via check or money order payable to "PECO" to the following address (do not send cash): PECO1050 W. Swedesford Rd.Berwyn, PA 19312
Why could my interconnection application be delayed or denied?
An interconnection application could be delayed or denied if required information is incomplete or missing, documents are unsigned, or any required payments are not included.
Are there any costs to interconnect?
Customer-generators must pay for installing their own renewable energy facilities as well as any additional costs incurred by PECO to upgrade its distribution system to accommodate the customer’s renewable resource.
Will I need to sign a contract?
Yes, you must sign an interconnection agreement with PECO. Additional service and construction agreements may be required for larger projects that involve a PJM interconnection.
Does PECO provide any assistance for renewable installation costs?
Yes, in the case of a service of 200A or greater and a second meter is required (In/Out setup), PECO will provide customers with a credit of up to $400 (applied to the customer’s bill) to assist to offset the costs of the second meter board needed for net metering. To qualify for the credit, you must do each of the following:
Instructions for applying for the credit can be found here.
Can I operate my private generation system prior to receiving the final written Permission to Operate?
No. You cannot operate your private generation system until:
Who is responsible to turn the system on once I have Permission to Operate?
The solar energy system should not be operated unless you have approval official approval from the utility. Once you have approval, you should work with your developer to turn on the system.
Does my private generation system need to be inspected by my municipality?
Please contact your municipality to determine the required inspections (building, roof, electrical, etc.). The inspection(s) can be conducted by your municipality or a certified inspector.
Can I connect a small renewable generation system to PECO's delivery system?
Yes, with our permission. Customers interested in connecting small generator facilities to the PECO distribution system must meet certain requirements and follow certain procedures.PECO requires you to fully complete a service and meter form and the appropriate interconnection application. The link to submit your application electronically using our Connect The Grid platform can be found at our Smaller Generators page.
If you have any questions about the interconnection process, if you are considering a large generation project, and would like to discuss it with us, please call PECO at 1-833-732-6334.
What is net metering?
When you participate in net metering, you can lower your energy bill by producing some of the energy you use with an eligible, private solar energy system installed at your home or business. Your energy bills will reflect the net amount of energy you use (i.e., the amount of energy delivered to you minus the excess energy sent to the smart grid). Net metering also allows you to receive net metering credits on your energy bill when you produce more energy than you use.
What is Pennsylvania Act 213?
Pennsylvania Act 213, also known as the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS) Act, ensures that a certain percentage of the generation sold to Pennsylvania customers by electric utilities and generation suppliers comes from alternative energy sources.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) created regulations governing interconnection for customers that generate power. The PUC set forth interconnection standards, which detail the application and evaluation processes. Please visit www.puc.pa.gov for more information.
These regulations also established net metering and compensation provisions that allow utilities to reimburse customer-generators for excess energy supplied to the electric grid.
What are net metering credits?
If your electric rates qualify, you may receive net metering credits. These credits that appear on your energy bill will reflect the value of the excess energy produced by your solar energy system and sent to the smart grid.
What rates qualify for net metering?
Most rates qualify for PECO’s RS-2 Net Metering service, including Rates R, RH, CAP,GS, PD, HT, EP. Refer to PECO's Renewable Service Rate RS-2 Rider for more details on availability and other qualifications.
How do I qualify to participate in net metering?
You are eligible if you own or operate an approved solar energy system and meet the following conditions:
Have electric load, independent of the solar energy system, behind the meter and point of interconnection of the solar energy system. The electric load must have a purpose other than to support the operation, maintenance or administration of the solar energy system.
The solar energy system must have a nameplate capacity of not greater than 50 kW if installed at a residential service location.
The solar energy system must have a nameplate capacity not larger than 3,000 kW at other customer service locations.
What type of meter is required for net metering?
Net metering requires special metering:
Over 200amps - requires a dual meter arrangement. PECO will need to install two meters at your property: an “IN” Meter, which measures the electricity you take from PECO each month and an “OUT” Meter, which measures any excess electricity you produce each month.
Under 200amps – a single bi-directional meter is available which will measure the flow of electricity “IN” and “OUT”.
Are there any charges for the meter needed to participate in net metering?
PECO will provide a bi-directional meter which is needed for net metering at no charge.
What rate does PECO pay for customer-generated electricity?
PECO pays customer-generators at the Price To Compare (PTC). The Price To Compare is the price used to evaluate offers from competitive electric generation suppliers (EGS). It is a figure based upon average generation prices over the last 12 months for your rate class.
Can I participate in net metering if I change electric suppliers?
When you switch to a competitive supplier, PECO is required to pay for any excess generation you are owed at the time you switch and has no further responsibility to compensate for excess generation. Because suppliers are not required to offer net metering products, you should check to see if they offer such an arrangement
How will I be compensated for my energy production?
For all monthly metered customers, PECO will provide you with a credit for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) it receives from you up to the total amount of electricity PECO delivers to you during each billing period. This allows you the ability to net your “monthly usage” down to “zero” each month. Please note that you are still responsible to pay the monthly customer charge and other applicable charges under your rate schedule.
If you produce more energy than you use each month, this excess will be carried forward to a future month and will be used to help net down a future month's bill.
At the end of the net metering year (May 31), you will receive a credit for any existing kilowatt-hours produced in excess of the kilowatt-hours received from PECO. Please note that customers who switch to an Electric Generation Supplier (EGS) will no longer qualify to receive the annual compensation from PECO.
Is there a limit to how much excess generation PECO will purchase?
There is no limit. However, PECO compensates customers only for excess generation that remains at the end of the net metering year (May 31).
What if I move into a property that has an existing private generation system installed?
The details of the ownership of the solar energy system have to be confirmed with the previous owner. If it is not a leased system, you can participate in net metering without submitting a new interconnection application.
What is virtual metering aggregation?
Virtual metering aggregation is the combination of meter readings and billing for multiple meters within the same aggregated network. The multiple accounts under a common name must be located within 2 miles of the host account's (solar customer) property line and within PECO’s service territory and do not need to be physically connected. Virtual metering applies the energy you produce equitably across other accounts aggregated in PECO’s distribution network. A customer already on the virtual net metering program can enroll the host account for Time of Use (TOU) rates, but the satellite accounts are not eligible to participate in TOU.
How will Time of Use (TOU) rates affect interconnection compensation?
For net metered customers on TOU rates, PECO will separately track excess power exported to the distribution system by net metering customers within the TOU peak, off-peak, and super off-peak periods. Excess generation in each TOU period will be “banked” for use by the customer in subsequent billing months. Limitations apply, however, on the ability to export power that your system generated during the off-peak or super off-peak periods, which most likely would be stored in a battery during an on-peak period. TOU customers who take and store power from the distribution system outside of peak hours may use that stored energy to support their own loads during higher-price hours. However, PECO prohibits net metering customers on TOU from exporting that lower-priced stored energy to the grid during higher-priced hours for the sole purpose of receiving compensation under net metering.
What is a Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC)?
A solar renewable energy credit (SREC) represents the environmental benefits of producing 1,000 kWh of energy by a solar energy system. The value of SRECs is measured in $/MWh (1 MWh = 1,000 kWh).
SRECs are also referred to as alternative energy credits (AECs). AECs are tradable certificates that represent all the clean energy benefits of electricity generated from your facility. They can be sold separately from the power produced by qualifying alternative energy facilities.
Credits are issued through a program administered by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. For more information, visit www.pennaeps.com.
Will my solar energy system produce alternative energy credits that I can sell separately from the energy produced?
Yes. Energy credits are based on all the energy produced by the generator. For every megawatt (1 MW) of energy produced by your generator, you receive one AEC, which can be sold.
Can I receive a federal tax credit for going solar?
Yes, The Federal Solar Tax Credit, also known as the investment tax credit (FITC) is currently 26% of the total installation cost of solar property which has begun construction through 2020.
The FITC will step down according to the following schedule:
Will I still get a bill if I generate more power than I use?
Yes, you will still receive a bill for the PECO monthly customer charge and any minimum distribution charges applicable to your rate schedule.
I am on budget billing. Should I request to remove my account from budget billing?
Installing a solar energy system should reduce (not eliminate) the bill you receive from PECO. If you are confident that you will complete the solar installation, it is best to notify PECO to remove you from the budget early in the process.
Where can I learn more about renewable energy?
For more information about renewable energy, see the following sources:
PA AEPS Alternative Energy Credit Program
PA Department of Environmental Protection
May I sell power to my neighbor?
No. Only licensed electric generation suppliers, subject to PJM and the PUC’s regulations, may sell power to customers through agreements with PECO, PJM or a third party.
Will my generation system produce energy during a power outage?
Not if it is connected to our delivery system. For safety reasons, renewable generation systems that are interconnected to the power grid will not supply power to your home or business if an outage occurs. This protects your equipment from overloading and protects personnel who may be working on electrical equipment in your area to restore power.
Could generation systems be modified to supply power during a power outage?
Yes. Your system must be set up so that it can be isolated from our distribution system. This protects our linemen and work crews by ensuring that no electricity is delivered to our power lines during the outage. Such a system configuration must be approved by PECO to ensure it safely operates in parallel with PECO’s distribution system. If you would like your system to be set up this way, you must notify PECO of your intention and consult with your contractor
Can PECO recommend a reputable solar contractor?
PECO cannot recommend a contractor for your solar project. However, information and tips on how to find the best solar contractor for your can be found here.
Is community solar permitted in Pennsylvania?
Currently, community solar is not approved in Pennsylvania.