Of all the investments in your home, solar stands out to be one of the most beneficial, as well as one of the most diverse. While homeowners are familiar with the common benefits like reduction in energy costs and backup power, many are unfamiliar with Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs), which can go a long way towards accelerating a homeowner’s return on their investment.
Put simply, SRECs are assignable rights to solar production that can be monetized and sold on the open market. I will go into the reasoning of why these assets have become available in the future, but for the sake of time and the intention of this post, just know that if you live in a state that has access to a market, your solar production is monetizable.
So, assuming you live in a state that has an SREC market, you now have a negotiable asset that needs to be placed in the exchange with an aggregator, which is basically a broker. To be clear though, you don’t necessarily need to be in a state that offers SRECs in order to have access to a market. Due to the newness of SRECs, and the legislative needs of some states, some markets allow bordering states to take advantage of their exchange, and it is up to the aggregator to qualify each system for the market. More specifically, the aggregator is responsible for verifying, packaging, and selling the assets for the energy producers, ensuring that the buyer is getting the production value they were promised and the homeowner or business is getting a fair market value. The markets in each state are different for various reasons, and the value for each certificate varies from state to state as well. However, once it is sold, you get a check from the aggregator, and presto, you now have another way to lower your payment monthly or another way to calculate your long-term ROI!
So, now that we have touched on the easiest and most exciting parts, let’s talk about the fine print…
Your marketable credits are based on the production of your specific system, which means there are a couple things that you need to do:
- Your system must have a revenue grade meter to track your actual production. Most manufacturers have one of these built in, but not all of them. If you happen to have a system without a qualifying meter, there are 3rd party meters out there that can be installed for a couple hundred dollars that are more than worth the investment over the life of the upgrade, in most cases.
- Your aggregator needs to have access to your revenue grade meter, with most of them preferring access that directly reports to their system.
- During your initial onboarding, the aggregator will need specific information about your system to help build your profile, as well as help project your anticipated qualifying production.
Once you have all the pieces in place, the rest of the process is pretty simple. Most homeowners rely on their solar installation company to walk them through the process, and help them get the system registered and onboarded. However, in newer markets like Virginia, there are a lot of previously installed systems that couldn’t take advantage of SRECs because either they were not available, or their installer wasn’t aware of the benefit. For those situations, the homeowner has the ability to reach out to their original installer, seek out the markets themselves if they feel comfortable, or search for an advocate to support them with their registration.
Over the years, we have formed relationships with aggregators in most markets. If you need additional help with SRECs in your market, we are more than happy to assist you in finding an aggregator that can get you started; just submit an inquiry on our Contact Page!
Owner/CEO The Solar Agents