How do I apply for solar?

If you are working with a solar installer, the installer will submit the required documents to LPEA. If you are installing the system yourself, you can submit a Interconnection/Net Metering Application.

I have an existing solar system. Can I add additional panels to the current array?

Yes. However, a new Interconnection/Net Metering Application must be submitted, and the addition must meet LPEA’s interconnection requirements. 

How do I find a solar contractor?

LPEA has a list of Qualified Solar Installers. LPEA recommends getting a minimum of 3 solar bids before selecting an installer.

Does having solar at my home mean I am “off the grid” and not connected to LPEA or getting electricity from LPEA?

No. Having solar at your home does not mean you are off the grid. The only way to be off the grid would be to disconnect your electrical service from LPEA and depend 100% on what you generate for your power needs.

What happens at night when the sun is down? Do I still get electricity?

At night, on very stormy days, or if your solar panels are covered with snow, a conventional solar system goes dormant. During these times, you will receive power from LPEA’s grid. When the sun comes back out or the snow melts off the panels, the solar system resumes producing energy. If you do not use all the electricity you produce at any given time, the excess gets sent back onto the grid. This process is called net metering, during which your electric meter spins backwards showing a kWh credit available for you to offset your consumption later.

What happens with my solar PV system if I move? 

Most solar PV systems stay with the home to which they are attached, however, it is possible to relocate a PV system. If relocating the system, a new Interconnection/Net Metering Application and engineering review would need to take place for the new location of the array. It is the installer’s responsibility to contact LPEA at renewables@lpea.coop to coordinate returning the production meter. 

If I have excess in my net meter bank and I sell my house what happens to the net meter bank?

If the net meter account changes ownership, the excess net generation will be paid to the account holder at LPEA’s avoided cost rate of energy, as defined by the LPEA Net Metering Rate Tariff. It is important to leave a forwarding address with LPEA’s Member Services team to ensure you receive this payment.

Does having a solar system help in the sale of my home?

There are many factors that go into listing your home. Contact your realtor for additional information. 

I have solar at my home. Will I be impacted by power outages?

Yes. Your solar array will stop producing energy during the outage and you will not have electricity at your service address. Once power is restored to the grid, your array will automatically reconnect and go back to functioning as usual.  

Are there any tax credits available for solar installations at the state or federal level?

LPEA recommends consulting a tax accountant before purchasing a solar system as tax incentives may vary over time. A tax accountant will know the latest tax incentives and the eligibility requirements. 

Does LPEA sell solar systems?

No, LPEA does not sell solar systems, however, approval from LPEA is required prior to interconnection to LPEA’s grid. You can find a list of LPEA Qualified Solar Installers on our website. 

Does LPEA offer solar incentives or rebates?

LPEA does not offer rebates for solar installations. For LPEA’s net metering program, the energy LPEA delivers to you, is worth the same amount as the energy you deliver to LPEA. This 1:1 crediting is valued at the retail rate associated with your account.

How much does a solar system cost?

System prices vary based on size, placement, equipment used, and technology. Prices for solar systems in LPEA’s service territory generally range between $2.50 and $5.00 per watt before tax credits.  In 2020, homeowners typically spent between $10,000 and $20,000 to buy a solar panel system, but it may cost more or less depending on incentives, the size of your system, the type of equipment you install, and the company you move forward with. 
There are a number of websites, like solarestimage.org and energysage.com/solar/calculator that offer a more detailed snapshot and comparison what a solar energy system is likely to cost you based on where you live. 

When I am generating more electricity than I am consuming, why am I still receiving a LPEA bill each month? 

The charges you see on your LPEA bill each month consist of the base charge to cover billing and metering expenses, a Peak Power Charge to cover a portion of the system infrastructure needed to serve you, any charges for programs you might be enrolled in such as Round Up, and taxes. If you use more electricity than you produce, you will also see an energy charge on your monthly bill.

Why am I receiving a monthly bill from LPEA when I have solar?

At night, or on very stormy days, a conventional solar system goes dormant. During those dormant times, you will receive electricity from LPEA’s grid. When the sun comes back out, the system resumes producing energy. Your monthly bill will show your Net Consumption and Net Generation

Why is my solar generation not covering the Peak Power Charge on my LPEA Bill?

Your solar array will not offset the Peak Power Charge. The Peak Power Charge is applied to the single highest hour of usage between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. during a month. 

What happens if I produce more electricity than I use?
If in a monthly billing period you generated more energy than you used, then this excess energy (kWh) will be added to your Net Meter Bank and is available to you throughout the year to offset future electric consumption at retail value. The excess net generation will carry over into a Net Meter Bank monthly until the annual settlement month or until the excess net meter bank is depleted. 

When is LPEA’s annual settlement month for an excess generation?

LPEA’s net metering true-Up of excess generation occurs annually on your April billing statement. LPEA will purchase the excess Net Generation that has been accrued, if any, at LPEA’s avoided cost rate of energy, as defined by the LPEA Net Metering Tariff

Do you need help financing your solar array? 

To help members invest in energy efficiency and solar PV projects, LPEA, in partnership with First Southwest Bank, offers an On-bill Financing Program. This program allows you to apply for a low-interest loan to finance your projects and then repay that loan monthly overtime on your LPEA electric bill.