Once you decide to invest in solar, there are several steps to getting your new system installed.
1. Call LPEA. Each installation is different, and there are often challenges or obstacles that must be overcome before you can install a system that connects to LPEA’s grid. Our experts can walk you through the options.
2. Choose a solar installer: It is important to choose the right installer. LPEA’s list of Qualified Solar Installers is a good place to start. We recommend getting multiple bids to include the total cost of getting the PV system up and running, including hardware, installation, connection to the grid, permitting, sales tax, and warranty. A cost/watt and estimated cost/kWh are the most useful metrics for comparing prices across different installers, as installers may use different equipment or offer quotes for systems of different sizes.
Here is a list of questions to consider asking each solar installer.
- Is your company familiar with LPEA’s interconnection process?
- Is your company familiar with the city, county, and HOA requirements, as well as the State Electrical Inspection process?
- Can you provide references from other members in LPEA’s service territory?
- Are you properly licensed/certified?
- Do you carry liability insurance?
- What is the warranty for this system?
- What does a service call look like?
- Does your company have any pending or active judgments or liens against it?
3. Apply: LPEA members interested in generating all or some of their electricity needs by installing solar on their home or business must submit an Interconnection/Net Metering application for their annual kWh usage (up to 150%).
4. Understand your electric use: Your solar installer will need to know how much electricity you use annually to design your system. To view your electricity usage data, sign into your LPEA SmartHub account. If you would like to share your electricity usage data with your installing contract, please fill out a billing data authorization release form.
5. Work with LPEA and your installer: Your installer should be able to help you complete the necessary permitting and steps. Your installer will determine the appropriate size of your system based on your 12-month annual consumption history and that meets LPEA’s policies and requirements. The size will be based on your electricity needs and
- The site’s solar resource or available sunlight
- The system’s orientation and tilt
- The system’s efficiency at converting sunlight to energy. You will get the most bang for your buck on systems that are properly sized as systems that are oversized have longer payback periods.
LPEA allows retail net metering to the extent that the solar generation is providing for the home or business’ normal electricity usage. Retail net metering provides an incentive to members by allowing members to avoid paying for a portion of the electrical facilities needed to serve their homes. Once a member produces more energy than their home or business consumes, the additional incentive is no longer provided, and the excess annual energy is purchased from LPEA at its wholesale cost.
6. Approval & Installation: LPEA will review and approve your Interconnection/Net Metering application. Your installer will then pull and obtain all permits, install the system, complete all the necessary paperwork, install the production meter, and program the equipment to meet LPEA’s Interconnection Standards. Once completed, LPEA will conduct a final safety inspection and interconnect your system to LPEA’s grid.
7. Billing: Your LPEA bill will change to that of a net metered member.
Here is a guide to help you better understand how you will be billed as a net metered member of LPEA.