Pennsylvania is one of only seven states that use SRECs to incentivize rooftop solar.
In states with the incentive, you’re awarded one SREC for every 1,000 kWh of solar energy your panels produce. Utility companies then purchase your SRECs to offset the state's mandated renewable energy targets.
But anyone transitioning to solar power ought to be aware that it's liable to take a bit of time for your state to process your application to its SREC system.
The upshot is that once your solar panels are up and running, there's still likely to be some lag time before the energy they generate starts earning you any SRECs.
In Pennsylvania and most of the other six states that offer the incentive, you can expect around a two-month delay between when your system goes online and when you start accruing SRECs based on its production. The exception is worst-case Massachusetts, where there's a much longer six-month delay.
Since each state has its own unique way of handling SRECs, the precise reason for the delay is going to vary depending on where you live.
How it works in PA
In Pennsylvania, once your solar system is installed, your next step is to submit an application to the SREC program through its website.
Once your application is approved, you'll receive a certification number which you can then use to register with PJM-GATS, a trading platform the state uses to track energy output and award SRECS.
But, importantly, you've also got to be certified before the energy your solar system produces can start earning you any SRECS.
So, since it generally takes Pennsylvania around two months to certify an SREC application, residents can expect that much lag time between when their solar system first goes online and when they start earning SRECs.
How to sell your SRECs
If buying and selling SRECs sounds like a huge hassle, don't sweat it. There are reputable brokerage firms willing to do all the work for a small commission.
In fact, since utility companies are interested in volume, they typically won't purchase SRECs from individuals, anyway. So, even the rare bird who wanted to play the SREC market on their own would still need to use a brokerage firm.
Here at Renu, we set up all of our customers with a free account with SRECTrade, a San Francisco firm that's one of the largest brokers in the industry. Besides handling your transactions, SRECTrade also provides you with online tools to track their performance.
How SRECTrade works
SRECTrade lets you decide your level of involvement.
· You can have SRECTrade automatically sell your SRECs as soon as they're awarded.
· You can also have any SRECs you've accumulated automatically sold whenever they hit some minimum price, instead.
· Alternatively, you can let SRECTrade use its expertise to decide when it's the right time to sell.
Since we'll be setting up your account, you can start collecting money for your SRECs as soon as you start earning them.
But if -- for whatever reason -- you'd prefer to work with another brokerage, you can switch over at any time.