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Tesla now keeps all the SRECs [SREC = Solar Renewable Energy Credits]

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,201
336
auburn, ca
My roof install is scheduled for next month but I saw that there is Solar Renewable Energy Credit for 4 major CA utilities now, PG&E, SCE, SDGE and GPSD. I asked my project advisor about that and I got a new Purchase Agreement to e-Sign, with it there is a $389.00 line item credit from the system cost so my purchase price is reduced by that amount. Not a meaningful amount but I also did not expect it.
got a link?
 

DJVoorhees

Member
Jun 16, 2019
245
145
New Jersey
I just got off a chat w/ Tesla about this, they say the option is with the buyer, you can opt out of the TREC sale to Tesla. I think thats the safe way to go and gets you the most benefit in the end.
 

mdsolar

New Member
Jan 12, 2021
3
0
Maryland
I just got off a chat w/ Tesla about this, they say the option is with the buyer, you can opt out of the TREC sale to Tesla. I think thats the safe way to go and gets you the most benefit in the end.

If that is the case, is this advisor or state dependent? It seems to be an inconsistent policy if different people are getting different answers. I am assuming you are in NJ since you are using TRECs. Maybe you can opt out in NJ but not in MD?
 

willow_hiller

Active Member
Apr 3, 2019
3,088
14,104
Maryland
If that is the case, is this advisor or state dependent? It seems to be an inconsistent policy if different people are getting different answers. I am assuming you are in NJ since you are using TRECs. Maybe you can opt out in NJ but not in MD?

Could be down to state laws. I cannot find anything on the books in MD that says an installer must give you a choice to retail the SRECs. In fact, found this PDF put together by the state that talks about considering who gets to keep the SRECs while choosing an installer: https://energy.maryland.gov/Reports/A Maryland Consumers Guide to Solar.pdf

Also an interesting point in the guide: "If you don’t own the SRECs that go with your solar energy system, you can’t claim that the electricity you’re using comes from solar panels. In that case, your panels are generating renewable
solar electricity, but effectively, you’re using regular electricity from the electric grid; whoever owns the SRECs is using the solar electricity your panels generate."

I always thought of the SRECs as a recognition of the additional value of the positive externalities generated by renewable energy, but at least legally that doesn't seem to be the case.
 

wjgjr

Active Member
May 11, 2020
1,168
912
Silver Spring, MD
Could be down to state laws. I cannot find anything on the books in MD that says an installer must give you a choice to retail the SRECs. In fact, found this PDF put together by the state that talks about considering who gets to keep the SRECs while choosing an installer: https://energy.maryland.gov/Reports/A Maryland Consumers Guide to Solar.pdf

Also an interesting point in the guide: "If you don’t own the SRECs that go with your solar energy system, you can’t claim that the electricity you’re using comes from solar panels. In that case, your panels are generating renewable
solar electricity, but effectively, you’re using regular electricity from the electric grid; whoever owns the SRECs is using the solar electricity your panels generate."

I always thought of the SRECs as a recognition of the additional value of the positive externalities generated by renewable energy, but at least legally that doesn't seem to be the case.
I take a bit of an issue with the way that quotation is worded. A different way of looking at it is you can only sell the benefit of having solar once. If you let your installer take it, then you get your payment up-front. If not, you sell it as you go. In either case, your solar installation is producing renewable power, and once the SREC is sold, it can't be sold again. To further this point, if you own your SRECs, once you sell them to the utility, you are in the same situation that "you're using regular electricity from the grid; whoever owns the SRECs is using the solar electricity your panels generate." In either case, you are getting a benefit from the SRECs - either an up-front payment or incremental payments, and in the end, the utility is paying you (either directly, or through your installer, who is taking a cut) for your help in meeting the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) number.

The alternative if you really want to push solar is to not sell your SRECs at all. This would mean that when the utilities report to the state on their progress in meeting the RPS, your solar would not be counted at all. This would mean that when the utilities claim to reach the RPS number, even a bit more than the standard is achieved. (Or, alternatively, if the utilities cannot meet the RPS, that they paid more in penalties.) From a pure environmental standpoint, this is probably the best approach to take. Otherwise, I see no effective environmental difference between keeping SRECs vs. selling them to the installer - it is just a financial decision.
 
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HunterRoof

New Member
Feb 9, 2021
1
0
Cali
I asked over the phone and they said I have no choice but to sell them. I asked again over email. Waiting reply.

I can't find a market place or much information at all about California SRECs.
 

hungryjonjon

Member
Apr 12, 2019
53
83
Maryland
I just got my Tesla solar installed this week in Maryland. The solar contract document allows you to OPT OUT of selling SRECs to Tesla, which I did. All I had to do was request so with my project advisor. It was fairly painless but I did have to wait a couple of days to received the updated contract before I signed it. No fuss from Tesla.
 

willow_hiller

Active Member
Apr 3, 2019
3,088
14,104
Maryland
I just got my Tesla solar installed this week in Maryland. The solar contract document allows you to OPT OUT of selling SRECs to Tesla, which I did. All I had to do was request so with my project advisor. It was fairly painless but I did have to wait a couple of days to received the updated contract before I signed it. No fuss from Tesla.

I think it depends on the state, and maybe even on your individual advisor. Likewise I was able to easily opt out of selling the SRECs in Maryland, but some folks here were genuinely told Tesla would not continue with their project unless they sold them.
 

preilly44

Member
Nov 1, 2014
466
350
Bethesda, MD, United States
I previously had opted out and was keeping my SRECS for my new system (hasn't been installed yet). I asked my advisor to change my inverters to the Telsa inverters and after a few days he did. Now my system is about $2k less expensive but he said I don't have the option of keeping SRECs because the Tesla inverters haven't been approved for it. Is that BS? I'm getting a 35kw system which should produce a lot of SRECs which I'd like to keep.
 

wjgjr

Active Member
May 11, 2020
1,168
912
Silver Spring, MD
I previously had opted out and was keeping my SRECS for my new system (hasn't been installed yet). I asked my advisor to change my inverters to the Telsa inverters and after a few days he did. Now my system is about $2k less expensive but he said I don't have the option of keeping SRECs because the Tesla inverters haven't been approved for it. Is that BS? I'm getting a 35kw system which should produce a lot of SRECs which I'd like to keep.
Somebody who reports actual production in MD will hopefully be able to give you a full answer, but you can look at this thread:
How does SRECtrade production reporting work?

It is possible you do need a revenue-grade meter to self-report in MD and that the Tesla inverter is not certified to act as one, unlike the inverters mentioned in that thread. That said, Tesla would not be in any different position than you for reporting. So, are they paying you for SRECs they won't claim, or do they think they will get certification eventually and then start claiming them themselves?

Assuming you reject the payment from Tesla, you could look into installing a revenue-grade meter that would address the issue. I do not know the cost and whether that would be worth it. Or, you could just wait until Tesla gets certified, taking the chance that might not happen.
 
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willow_hiller

Active Member
Apr 3, 2019
3,088
14,104
Maryland
It is possible you do need a revenue-grade meter to self-report in MD and that the Tesla inverter is not certified to act as one, unlike the inverters mentioned in that thread.

From my discussions with SRECTrade, it is my understanding that they require revenue-grade meters. My SolarEdge has "Revenue Grade ANSI C12.20." which they said was sufficient.

Given we haven't seen a spec sheet for the Tesla inverter yet, it's possible that it's accurate enough to be deemed "revenue grade" (plus or minus 0.5% or better) but that that accuracy has not been certified by the American National Standard's Institute yet. Otherwise, as you said, it doesn't make sense for Tesla to grant a discount for SRECs they themselves wouldn't be able to claim.
 

wjgjr

Active Member
May 11, 2020
1,168
912
Silver Spring, MD
From my discussions with SRECTrade, it is my understanding that they require revenue-grade meters. My SolarEdge has "Revenue Grade ANSI C12.20." which they said was sufficient.

Given we haven't seen a spec sheet for the Tesla inverter yet, it's possible that it's accurate enough to be deemed "revenue grade" (plus or minus 0.5% or better) but that that accuracy has not been certified by the American National Standard's Institute yet. Otherwise, as you said, it doesn't make sense for Tesla to grant a discount for SRECs they themselves wouldn't be able to claim.
That was my guess is that they expect the inverter is compliant but have not completed the certification process yet. Given Tesla's history, that is not surprising - some certifications for the solar roof, for example, did not appear until well after the product was released. I guess the risk as a customer is that for some reason it is not certified and Tesla has to create a second revision of the inverter to meet the standard. And, it is also possible it takes an unexpectedly long time to get certified, which is a particular issue in MD since the cap on the value of SRECs drops every year.

It seems like since @preilly44 has a 35 kW system, especially if it is getting installed soon, the best choice really might be installing a separate meter. Assuming 35 kW nets at least 35 SRECs annually, it would likely pay for itself pretty quickly versus what Tesla tends to offer and may pay for itself even if there is only a delay of a couple spring/summer months in Tesla obtaining certification. (It looks like it should only be in the hundreds of dollars to install - and I do not know if you could get Tesla to agree to install one when the electrician is setting everything up.)
 
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berkpaul

New Member
Mar 12, 2021
1
0
MD
I just got my Tesla solar installed this week in Maryland. The solar contract document allows you to OPT OUT of selling SRECs to Tesla, which I did. All I had to do was request so with my project advisor. It was fairly painless but I did have to wait a couple of days to received the updated contract before I signed it. No fuss from Tesla.
I live in MD and so far via email with my Tesla project advisor, I’ve been told there’s no option to opt out. Did you sign the “generators contract” and were later able to opt out, or were you not required to sign this contract before installation?
 

willow_hiller

Active Member
Apr 3, 2019
3,088
14,104
Maryland
There's some interesting discussing in the thread about the new Tesla inverter: Tesla Unveils New Tesla Brand Solar Inverter

Evidently some of the installs incorporate an independent production meter, so it may actually be the case that the Tesla Inverter doesn't have a revenue grade meter built in. Doesn't explain why they couldn't also install a production meter for systems where you want to retain the SRECs, though.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
8,225
9,072
Riverside Co. CA
I asked over the phone and they said I have no choice but to sell them. I asked again over email. Waiting reply.

I can't find a market place or much information at all about California SRECs.

There are no SRECs available for us to sell in California, so this discussion doesnt apply to us here in Cali.
 

RickBfounders

Member
May 12, 2019
10
11
new haven
The Mass market allows neighboring states as well - I'm in CT and trying to get my SRECs back from Tesla, but it hasn't been granted yet. I've asked two project advisors going back to August about it and haven't gotten traction. I believe when I'd looked, it seemed like it'd be two years to match Tesla's credit, and then everything after that was a gain, so it's well worth it to me to get those credits back.
Hey Solpowered...Im in ct having same challenges...how can we connect? Im at 'gmail' at rickb203
 

willow_hiller

Active Member
Apr 3, 2019
3,088
14,104
Maryland
Do they sell this yearly and you get $ amount every year? Or is this just a one time SREC $

It's a one-time incentive in exchange for all of the SRECs your system produces during its lifetime. They're often paying much more than you'd receive selling 1 year worth of SRECs by yourself, but less than you'd receive for selling several years (they're more generous in states with more predictable SREC markets).

For reference, I was able to opt-out of the incentive for my system and I'm expecting about $70 per month in selling my own SRECs. Had I not done that, Tesla would have paid me $2,080 up front. So simply $2,080 / $70 means I'll break even on that decision after about 29 months.
 

Rccarps2

New Member
Mar 30, 2021
3
0
19311
It's a one-time incentive in exchange for all of the SRECs your system produces during its lifetime. They're often paying much more than you'd receive selling 1 year worth of SRECs by yourself, but less than you'd receive for selling several years (they're more generous in states with more predictable SREC markets).

For reference, I was able to opt-out of the incentive for my system and I'm expecting about $70 per month in selling my own SRECs. Had I not done that, Tesla would have paid me $2,080 up front. So simply $2,080 / $70 means I'll break even on that decision after about 29 months.
Unfortunately they no longer let you opt-out of the SREC buy out. I have been trying to get out of that provision for several weeks now, and they won't budge. After my last attempt my advisor sent me this "As has previously been communicated, Tesla does not currently offer contracts without the REC rebated, so if you'd like to proceed you will sign the contract as it's currently presented."

Basically told me they will not move forward with the project without that document signed. In PA they are about $25/each. Would I rather keep them? Yes, but the total savings of the system (price per watt and the upfront REC credit) far offsets pricier local solar options where I could keep them.
 

willow_hiller

Active Member
Apr 3, 2019
3,088
14,104
Maryland
Basically told me they will not move forward with the project without that document signed. In PA they are about $25/each. Would I rather keep them? Yes, but the total savings of the system (price per watt and the upfront REC credit) far offsets pricier local solar options where I could keep them.

Yeah, I'm sure Tesla worked out that buying the SRECs was integral to them being able to continue offering their lower prices. It's unfortunate they're giving customers fewer choices, but the ROI is still so much lower when you can get the upfront investment cost down that low.
 

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