General solar questions

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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.  

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

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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.