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    Electrical system interconnection agreements and applications

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    Solar FAQ
    General solar questions
    When do solar panels produce energy?

    Solar panels produce energy while there is sunlight present.  Solar panels use the photons produced by sunlight to generate direct current (DC) electricity. When the photons hit the panels, they are absorbed by the panel’s semiconducting silicon material. During this process electrons separate from the atoms and move around the solar cell. This movement of the electrons is what generates Direct Current (DC) electricity. The DC electricity then flows to the systems inverter where it's converted to alternating current (AC) electricity.  AC is the type of electricity needed to supply the property with power.

    Information sourced from this site.

    How much energy does a system generate?

    The Department of Energy estimate for Indiana is 1,500-1,600 Kilowatt Hours (“kWh”) per year for every kW of rooftop solar.  That results in an average of 125-133 kWh per month across the year.  The system will produce more energy during the summer months than the winter.  The amount of kWh that solar panels produce will be dependent on factors such as shading, direction of solar panels, and weather.

    I've heard a typical payback for rooftop solar can be 10 years or less. Is that true?

    There are several different factors that go into the payback period for solar panels.  In order to better understand how long a solar system payback may be, we recommend visiting the site Project Sunroof for more information.

    What factors affect payback for a solar on-site generation system?

    Factors that affect the payback for a solar on-site generation system include shading of the location, pitch of the roof (if rooftop solar), financing options, self-install or contractor, and system size. 

    Does the direction of the solar panel matter?

    Yes. Southern facing panels will receive the most amount of sunlight.

    Will solar or other renewable generation keep my power on during an outage?

    No, solar inverters will shut down when connection to the grid is lost. There are commercially available inverters that include battery backups, and these may be used in emergency power mode to help keep power on during an outage.

    If I install solar or wind, do I still need power from the utility?

    Yes, typical renewable generation sites such as wind and solar vary in their output during the day and matching it with the consumption of your residence is not possible without special equipment. AES Indiana offers net metering to help offset the variable nature of wind and solar generation by building a bank of credits that be used when wind or solar do not produce power.

    Net metering program eligibility and information
    Does AES Indiana sell energy systems door to door?

    No, AES Indiana does not sell energy systems door to door.

    Does AES Indiana contract with solar companies to sell energy systems?

    No, AES Indiana does not contract with, nor affiliate with solar companies to sell energy systems to customers.

    Who is eligible?

    AES Indiana offers Net Metering to all customers in good standing who have installed eligible net metering energy resources or other emerging renewable energy technologies the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) determines appropriate with Approved Electrical Connection.

    Can I participate in net metering if I am a renter? Do I have to own the home or property?

    You must be the property owner to be eligible for net metering.

    What type of renewable on-site generation systems are allowed?

    All forms of inverter-based generation such as wind and solar, as well as biomass and geothermal.

    What size system should I get?

    System size can differ across customers.  We recommend visiting Project Sunroof to get a better idea of estimated system size that would best fit your needs and property.  

    Does AES Indiana offer any financial incentives or rebates for installing small-scale renewable energy systems on my property?

    AES Indiana customers with applicable generating systems can participate in Net Metering as dictated by the Indiana Administrative Code (170 IAC 4-XXX).

    Connecting your system
    How do I get started?

    The first step to become eligible for Net Metering is to fill out the Interconnection Application.

    Is there any special equipment that is required?

    Wind and solar sites generate power through an inverter; this inverter must be compliant with IEEE 1547-2018 and UL 1741 certified. You will also need to have AES Indiana install a bi-directional meter.

    What does it cost to connect a small-scale renewable generation system to the grid?

    Level 1 applications have no fees. Level 2 applications have a fee of $50 + $1/kW. Installation and equipment costs will vary by installer or customers can opt to self-install.

    What happens if I don't comply with AES Indiana’s interconnection tariffs?

    You will not receive net metering credit. Tampering settings will also charge you for every kWh that is back fed.

    When do I submit my solar application to AES Indiana?

    You can submit an application at any time, construction does not have to be completed. If you are working with a solar installation company, they will submit the application on your behalf. The application tends to take a few weeks, so it is encouraged that applications are submitted early.

    I am wanting to upgrade my current solar system; do I have to resubmit a solar application?

    If your inverter is being exchanged or more inverters are being added, you will need to resubmit an application.  However, if you are wanting to add more solar panels but are not making any inverter changes, then you do not need to reapply.

    Net metered billing and credits
    How does billing work for on-site generation?

    A customer’s bill will reflect the amount of AES Indiana usage for the billing period as well as the excess on-site generation for the same billing period. The monthly charge will then be based on the net energy usage (AES Indiana Usage – Excess on-site generation). If there is excess generation beyond the AES Indiana usage for the month, that energy will be “banked” to be used in future months. Banked energy cannot be transferred to another service or customer and will not be paid out to the customer at time of service disconnection.

    Will on-site generation lower my electric bill?

    Customers who have their own generating systems may result in a lower net electrical usage.  Under Net Metering, the amount of excess generation from the approved generating system will be subtracted from the usage from AES Indiana.  This can result in a lower energy charge for customers.  However, the customer will still be billed the monthly customer charge even if there is a zero net energy charge.

    If I generate more power than I use in a month do the credits roll over to the next month?

    Net metering credits will roll over continuously from month to month and year to year

    Should I continue with Budget Billing once I install solar?

    As a new solar customer, you may consider un-enrolling from Budget Billing for the first 6 to 12 months after installing your solar system. Your Budget Bill amount is based off the previous 12 months of usage, which is your usage data prior to installing solar. As a solar customer, it is expected that your usage will decrease over time due to your solar generation, and therefore, your monthly amount would also likely decrease over time and that is not being captured right after you install your solar in your Budget Bill amount. Once there is more usage data including your solar system impacts, then you could re-enroll in Budget Billing. If you’d like to un-enroll or re-enroll in Budget Billing, log on to your account or call the AES Indiana Customer Service line at 317-261-8222.

    Moving in or out of a home with solar panels participating in Net Metering
    I am selling my house and I have some banked net metering credits. Is it transferable to my new house or to the new homeowner?

    No. The banked credits are not transferable to your new home or to the new homeowner.

    I recently purchased a house with a solar system already installed and functioning. Is there anything I need to do?

    Yes. While the system may be functioning, you may not be set up to get net metering credit. Please contact with your name and address and we will help you fill out a new interconnection agreement.  If you make changes to the inverters, then you will need to reapply and submit a new interconnection application.

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