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Solar Energy

We believe in the promise of clean energy and are committed to help lead that transition to a brighter future. By generating more energy from renewable resources, deploying new technologies and modernizing the grid to achieve a low- to no-carbon future, we are at the forefront of this transformation.

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Are Solar Panels Right for You?

Installing solar panels can reduce your impact on the environment and potentially your electricity cost. There's a lot to think about when determining if solar panels are a good option for you. Before you make a decision, consider some of the facts and read our helpful guide.

While we’re responsible for interconnecting solar panels to the grid and we can help you with connecting to our equipment (such as meters), your Retail Electric Provider (REP) oversees your billing, which may or may not be affected by the installation of solar panels. Contact your REP about their policies and procedures before you make a decision.

Typically, solar panels supplement electricity you buy from a REP and cannot operate independently of the electric grid unless it’s specifically designed to provide back-up power. For safety, most solar panels shut off during an outage, so they may not power your home or business during a service disruption. Also, you’ll need to connect to the electricity grid to be compensated for the excess energy your panels produce if your REP offers such a program. Not all of them do.

When you generate more energy than you use, that surplus energy is added to the electric grid and our meters will measure it. While we make the surplus measurements available to your REP, they may or may not credit you for the surplus. Do not count on “selling back” to your REP any excess energy until you verify with them the policies and rates that apply to your account.

When you lease a solar panel system, you can use the power it produces, but a third party owns it. You then pay that company to lease the equipment. When you purchase a system, you pay up front to install and own the panels, or finance the purchase and pay the costs of the equipment plus interest over time (typically 7-20 years). You're also responsible for maintenance and repairs. Whether you decide to lease or buy, it's important to review your contract and ask questions before agreeing to either option.

Helpful Guide for Homeowners

Helpful Guide for Homeowners

If you’ve been thinking about installing solar panels on your home, check out our guide.

Download our guide

Estimate what you need

Solar panels are a big investment, whether you lease or buy. A number of factors make it difficult to determine how much solar energy you can produce, including:

  • Weather conditions
  • The energy efficiency of your home
  • Finding a retail provider to purchase the surplus power

Crunch the numbers with this solar calculator which uses information about your location and estimates available sunlight year-round to approximate how much solar energy you could produce.

Do's and don'ts of hiring a contractor Understand your responsibilities before you sign a contract.

Solar installation checklist Use our checklist to help with your decision-making.

How to Apply For Interconnection Service

Before you install your solar panels, wind turbines or other distributed energy resources, and before you connect to our grid, you'll need to submit an interconnection service application. Once approved, you can install the system, and following a successful inspection of your equipment, you'll submit a signed agreement with us that governs the arrangement.

Read our Interconnection Quick Start Guide and customer packet to learn more about the interconnection process.

Apply for interconnection

Frequently Asked Questions

Expand the questions below to find answers to common questions.

No. Most likely, you already have an advanced electric meter. We simply reprogram these to measure surplus energy. If you don’t have one, we’ll replace your old meter with an advanced electric meter.

Yes. With few exceptions, your home will still rely on the utility distribution grid for power at night and when your home requires more energy than the solar panels generate, and to add your surplus energy back onto the power grid. In addition, you’re responsible for the cost of services such as metering.

Contact your REP about any “buy back” programs available for your account. REPs compensate excess energy differently. And, it’s possible you won’t be compensated at all if your REP does not have a “buy back” program.

For safety reasons, your equipment may not power your home or business when there is an outage because it is synched with the power grid.

You are responsible for:

  • Compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations – as well as the easement, licensing, design, equipment, studies, protection, maintenance, and operation by qualified personnel required to accommodate power generation and/or storage.
  • Synchronization with the utility distribution system, and we are not responsible for damage to your equipment resulting from outages.
  • Cost of any negative impact, investigation, and system upgrades required to accommodate your connection, as well as future modifications prompted by changes in our system and type of service provided.

After an application has been approved, any changes to your system including equipment type, size or rating requires an updated application.

You can expect the process to unfold as follows:

  1. Interconnection Agreement and Permission to Operate: 30 days or less after receipt of the Interconnection Application.
  2. Meter Reprogramming: 15 days or less after the granting the Permission to Operate.
  3. Load Profile Update and measured surplus generation to REP: 30 to 60 days after meter reprogramming.

For more info call 361.881.5333.

More questions? Email us at der_aeptexas@aep.com or call 361.881.5333. We are standing by to help.

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