The following guidance is subject to change as the PUC finalizes any rulemaking orders.
If you have questions that pertain specifically to solar facilities, please refer to Guidance for Solar PV Systems.
If you are unable to find the response to your question, please contact PennAEPS customer service.
What is PJM-GATS and how does it relate to this program?
PJM Generation Attribute Tracking System (GATS) is the credit registry selected by the State of Pennsylvania to issue AECs. Facility owners use their assigned certification number to create a GATS account. Facility meter readings are recorded in the GATS system. For each megawatt hour (equal to 1,000 kilowatt-hours) of generation from a qualified alternative energy system, a corresponding number of AECs are issued. Once issued by PJM-GATS, the AECs become available to transfer to buyers.
What happens if I am missing required information for my application?
The PennAEPS Administrator will notify system owners of deficiencies within the application. The PennAEPS Administrator also leaves a note within the pending application indicating what is missing from the application. The PUC allows up to 180 days from the date of application to complete missing information without penalty. After 180 days, the application will be rejected and the applicant will not receive credit for any production accumulated during the past 180 days.
Can a PennAEPS application be submitted after a facility is placed online?
If an application is submitted more than 30 days after the utility interconnection date, the application must include a meter photo (if a revenue-grade kWh meter is installed) or inverter photo(s) capturing the total kWh as of the time when the application is submitted. The verified meter reading submitted at the time of application will be the starting point to earn AECs. Solar systems older than five years at the time of registration are required to report readings to earn credits. No system older than five years at the time of registration, regardless of size, is allowed to utilize estimated readings.
When can I expect approval of my system and receive my state certification number?
The PennAEPS Administrator strives to approve applications for new alternative energy systems within 30 business days, provided the application is complete.
What is the start date for the program year?
The PennAEPS year runs from June 1 through May 31.
How long will the program run for and will there be a requirement for AECs after the AEPS ends?
The AEPS legislation currently states that alternative energy obligation levels shown in the 2021 energy year are for “2021 and beyond.” Future legislation may change the alternative energy obligation levels.
What happens when the contract I signed with my aggregator expires?
If you have a contract with an aggregator that you will not renew at expiration, please contact the the PennAEPS Administrator at email@example.com two months prior to contract expiration and indicate that you will not review your contract and provide the contract expiration date. If the contract is not renewed by the expiration date, PennAEPS will notify the aggregator and system owner that the contract has expired and generation data will revert to the system owner for tracking and future crediting purposes.
Can I keep my AECs when I sell my home?
AECs are expected to remain with the home. Any arrangement made between the buyer and the seller will be at the risk of both parties. In order to update AEC ownership, both parties must provide a copy of the PJM-GATS system change form and Closing Disclosure or HUD 1 Settlement Statement to the Administrator by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. All information from the Closing Disclosure or HUD 1 Settlement Statement can be redacted except the names and signatures of the buyers and sellers and the closing date.
What is the difference between AECs and net metering?
Net metering is a billing mechanism that credits alternative energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid. For example, if a residential solar PV owner supplies more electricity than the home uses during daylight hours, the owner will receive credit that allows them only to be billed for their “net” energy use when electricity use exceeds the system’s output. AECs are fungible credits that each represent 1,000 kWh of total electricity production from an alternative energy system.
How do Alternative Energy Credits differ from RECs or Green Tags?
AECs are no different from Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) and Green Tags. “Green Tags” is a generic term for electricity generated from a variety of renewable energy sources including solar, wind, small hydro and biomass. AECs include both renewable energy resources and other PennAEPS-specific alternative resources. RECs and Green Tags are widely used to meet various state renewable portfolio standards and are traded in both compliance and voluntary programs in wholesale and retail markets across the U.S.
My system is not grid tied. Can I still earn AECs?
The alternative energy resource does not need to be directly tied to the grid (i.e. the electric distribution system or the electric transmission). However, the home or business connected to the alternative energy resource must be tied to the grid
How are Demand Side Management (DSM) projects evaluated?
DSM projects are evaluated on a project-by-project basis based on the energy saving calculations provided in the PUC Technical Reference Manual (TRM). The program administrator evaluates the project and outlines the number of AECs the project qualifies for, details how/when the AECs are earned, and calculates credit depreciation for each energy year. The PennAEPS Administrator also determines whether to issue the AECs in one batch, in which case the certification number issued for the project would only be used once.
Can you explain the banking provisions as they apply to generators?
Generators do not “bank” their AECs. They own AECs until the credits are voluntarily transferred. Generators do not have a limit on the number of years when credits can be generated and can generate credits for as long as they maintain certification and environmental compliance.
Can I submit my application while still waiting for utility interconnection approval or other paperwork?
You will not be able to submit your application until all required fields are completed and all documents are uploaded. The certification date for your system will be the later of your final interconnection date or the date you submit a completed application.
What is a final interconnection approval and do I need to include it?
The final interconnection approval, usually called the Interconnection Part 2, certificate of completion or permission to operate letter, is provided by your utility and is their approval to connect your system to the electric grid. A copy of the final interconnection approval is required for all applications.