Saving Today for a Better Tomorrow

E2 Solar Systems instructions on selling & buying a home with a Photovoltaic System that is grid tied on it.

E2 Solar would like to help educate and elaborate on the processes of transferring your owned or leased solar system. If we’ve had the pleasure of doing business with you and helped get a solar system installed and connected to the grid on or after January 1, 2010, that system is enrolled in the state offered SREC or SMART incentive program.

Here are the dates that determine what incentive program the system is in. Consider the time frame of when the system was allowed to be turned on and officially connected to the grid.

  • SREC 1: January 2010 – April 25, 2014
  • SREC 2: April 26, 2014 – January 8, 2017
  • SREC 2 extension: January 9, 2017 – November 25, 2018
  • SMART: November 26, 2018 – Present

Massachusetts is a unique state where they encourage solar energy and have created an incentive program to help offset the upfront costs to invest in renewable energy alternatives. Massachusetts also offers Net Metering. This is discussed more later in this guide. The SREC & SMART incentives are different than the Net Meter and not in relation to how much of the generated solar power is used on site or sent back on to the grid. The incentive is more like a rebate. Its a payment that is just based off what the system produces. Each one of the specific incentive programs listed above has a 10 year end date. So for some of the older systems that were installed in 2010 the 10 year SREC 1 program will be coming to an end as will the payments. However, if the system was installed in 2017 there is another 7 years of the SREC incentive program left. The incentive program should then be transferred to the new home & system owner. I will try to outline the steps needed to help make this transfer a little less confusing for all parties involved.

E2 Solar would have provided the owner of the system with a manual. There is some useful information in there and a good idea to locate it and flip through it to get familiar once again with the system components and paperwork involved with the system. It’s also encouraged to leave the manual for the next owner. Feel free to remove any personal information such as the copy of the contract and signed Eversource paperwork. But please leave the system specific information usually located in the end of the manual behind. There are wiring diagrams and micro inverter location maps that are important to stay with the system as well as the Eversource Permission To Operate letter specifying the actual approved start date that the system was registered to be turned on.

Cash Purchased System:

If the system was turned on between January 2010 and November 25, 2018 the system is in the SREC program (Solar Renewable Energy Certificate). It doesn’t matter much if it is SREC 1, SREC 2, or SREC 2 ext. If you have been paying attention to the system you will be familiar with quarterly payments that have been coming in either from SREC Trade or Knollwood Energy. E2 Solar used SREC Trade for about 90% of its projects as the chosen aggregator. SREC Trade and Knollwood Energy are both equally good companies and pay almost identical price for an SREC, however the platform from SREC Trade was just preferred as a little more user friendly. If you are unsure who your SREC aggregator is, most likely its SREC Trade. Here are both companies contacts and please reach out to them first to inquire on the transfer requirements.

SREC Trade Contact
Toll free: (877) 466-4606
Direct: (415) 763-7732
clientservices@srectrade.com

Knollwood Energy Contact

P: (908) 955-0590
F: (908) 955-0593
E: info@knollwoodenergy.com

The paperwork can change and I would suggest getting in touch with your SREC aggregator and confirming what they will need from you, the seller, and the new buyer. By just calling or emailing one of the above companies and referencing your name and property address of where the system is located the SREC company will be able to pull up your account and help guide you through the transfer. As of right now, March 23, 2020 the specified items are, either a closing disclosure, settlement statement or HUD-1 form with both parties' signatures. The buyer will also be responsible for opening a new account with the company. A Change of Ownership form will need to be sent to the new owners as well as the REC Service Agreement and a Registration Consent form. Knowing this ahead of time is helpful and should be a part of the closing items for the home sale.

The Mass CEC (Clean Energy Center) is the coordinator of the SREC program. Every system must submit a production report once a month to the Mass CEC and the PTS (Production Tracking System) department. By gathering these monthly production reports Massachusetts can keep track of how much renewable energy is online and what kind of indent it is making on the state energy demands. The Mass CEC/PTS is collecting the monthly production reports and certifying the data. Every solar system installed during the above referenced dates is dependent on making these monthly production reports in order to sell and be paid quarterly. Solar systems that are more modest in size and under 10 kW’s AC have the option of reporting manually through an online account or using a third-party company that submits the data. All systems that are over 10 kW AC were required to use the third-party meter and company for the monthly reports. The owner of the system will be very familiar with the Mass CEC/PTS reporting website and account if that is the elected method of reporting. If the owner of the system has never logged into an account once a month then you have a company that does it for you. On site there will be either a Locus Meter or a Solar Log meter. The owner’s manual may give more information on this if your unsure. The SREC aggregator will also be familiar with these companies and the personal account for the owner will include if and what company was used to help facilitate the monthly reports. Knowing if there is an auto reporting meter would be useful information so that E2 Solar can be notified to reach out to Locus or Solar Log during the transfer process.

Leased System:

E2 Solar has a number of leased systems through SunPower. Much of what is described above also includes the SunPower Leased systems. The only additional step is contacting SunPower to go over transferring the Lease on the system and roof to the new homeowner. In the manual there should be a copy of the lease with an identification number specific to SunPower and the system and terms outlined upon signing of the lease. SunPower can be reached at 1(800) SunPower. E2 Solar does not initiate or complete any of the paperwork needed for a lease transfer and will need to be completed by the Seller & Buyer and discussed directly with SunPower.

SMART Incentive Program:

Systems turned on or after November 26, 2018 will be enrolled in the SMART (Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target) Program. The Mass CEC/PTS was eliminated and there is no longer a monthly production report that must be submitted. In SMART there is no longer an account to log into once a month to submit a data report and no more third-party auto reporting meters being required or used. The utility is now in charge of the payments for the sale of the REC’s (Renewable Energy Certificates). If enrolled in the SMART program there is still an account to update and transfer. The Eversource SMART department will need the contact information for the new home/system owner(s) and will work with them to start an account. SMART will also need the routing information updated in order to make monthly payments for the sale of the REC’s. The seller should reach out to SMART and Eversource to get the specifics on transferring the system as well as the new owner(s).

http://www.masmartsolar.com/

Call 888-989-7752 or email

MA.SMART@clearesult.com

SMART Program at Eversource, email smart@eversource.com or call 844-726-7573

With the inclusion of these incentive programs they can help make a selling point for the solar PV system. Have a discussion with the realtor and check if they are familiar with selling a home that has a purchased or leased solar pv system on it. Something to consider for any scheduled open houses could be an information table on the solar system. Maybe print out a few electric bills to display any annual utility fees, or lack thereof. Or even an open laptop or tablet displaying the online monitoring account and the historical data showing how much energy the system produces in a year or lifetime.

Here is a list of the items needed to complete the transfer from the seller to the buyer:

  • SREC 1, SREC 2, or SREC 2 ext:
  • Either a closing disclosure, settlement statement or HUD-1 form with both parties' signatures
  • Change of Ownership - buyer
  • REC Service Agreement - buyer
  • Registration Consent – buyer
  • SMART: Transfer confirmation with SMART department
  • SunPower Lease if applicable – both parties
  • SunPower Warranty Update (if SunPower modules)
  • Monitoring Update
  • Auto Reporting Meter Account Update – if applicable, either Locus or Solar Log

When selling and moving out of the house please aware of the included items for the Solar system. Most everything is apparent if not screwed down to the roof it will be screwed to the wall. The one item that tends to go missing though is any included monitoring equipment.


String Inverter with Monitoring Equipment


Micro Inverter with Monitoring Equipment

Enphase Envoy

These monitoring units might have power adapters to them that are plugged into a power outlet. Don’t mistake them for other items in the house. There could also be Ethernet cables that hard wire the units to the router for internet. Pay attention to that and leave the Ethernet cables in place so the next person can easily reconnect them. Maybe even label the Ethernet internet cable for Solar so its purpose is discernible. Ethernet adapters might also have been used on site. They look like this:

They may also be black and may or not have a brand name such as SunPower or Enphase on the devices. These should also be left on site and connected just as they were. So please pay attention to what is being packed away and consider whether an unnoticed devise or cable might be associated with the Solar Array and its ability to connect and communicate to the internet.

Items for the Buyer to follow up on:

As the new homeowner and by default system owner, there are few things to follow up on. Nothing involved here is very time sensitive. It shouldn’t wait around for months and months, but a few weeks or a month or 2 is fine while settling in. Here is a list to get started with:

System enrolled in the SREC Incentive Program

  1. Opening account with SREC Aggregator. I would suggest sticking with the company that is already affiliated with the system, either SREC Trade or Knollwood Energy.
  2. Getting an account with the Mass CEC/PTS. https://www.masscec-pts.com/login Monthly production reports must be submitted to start receiving quarterly payments. It normally takes a few weeks so don’t worry if it takes a little time to transfer.

Systems enrolled in the SMART Incentive Program:

  1. Updating owner information with SMART and supplying them with routing information for monthly payments and a W-9.

Every System:

  1. Getting Monitoring updated to your name and contact.
  2. Updating any warranty’s
  3. New electric account holder must submit a new Eversource Schedule Z form

Utility Account with Solar and Net Metering:

After an electric account has been established under the new owners name a blank copy of Eversource’s Schedule Z form may appear in the mail or first bill. Upon moving in, if the system is on and generating power, the net meter on site and therefor electric account will automatically be getting back fed. When the PV system over produces it will spin the net meter backwards and will send power out onto the grid. That over production is accounted for at the end of the month billing cycle and the electric bill will either have a positive amount when a payment is due or a negative amount when there is a credit. That credit will continue to build up and will typically be used up in the shorter winter days. If a large credit was to accumulate the schedule z form designates a different account for any credits. The standard system will maintain any and all credits on the bill. The default is for all credits to remain on site, so updating the schedule z with the utility company will not cause any loss in production or credit application towards the account.

It may also be a good idea to discuss the solar array with any new homeowner’s insurance carrier. If there was a hurricane or fire and the system or roof was damaged a homeowner’s insurance claim might need to be opened to cover the cost to replace the modules or damaged equipment. The carrier might like to know the cost to replace the system should it be damaged. Please mention this as an added precaution.

Changing the Way Our World Is Powered

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