Online portal streamlines solar interconnection process

By Ben Delman on December 22, 2016

Getting your solar system connected to the electric grid can be one of the most difficult parts of going solar. Pepco recently launched Green Power Connection to improve this process. Green Power Connection is an online portal that supports Net Energy Metering (NEM) interconnections. This tool provides an online platform for solar contractors to file interconnection paperwork and allows customer to monitor the process.

During the interconnection process, contractors require historic electricity usage data to accurately size the solar system. This is because Pepco does not allow systems that will produce more than 100% of a home’s yearly energy usage to be net metered. Typically, this requires customers to track down past bills and send them electronically to their installer. Not only can this process become intractable, but customer bills only provide installers with 12 months of monthly kWh usage data. To ameliorate this issue, Pepco has provided the Request Customer Usage module inside the Green Power Connect portal. The module allows customers to authorize contractors to download 24 months of past electricity usage data in an organized and streamlined manner.

Pepco customers that go solar can log in to their online account and share their past energy data with a list of registered contactors. This process is only a few steps for customers and sends the information instantly to the chosen installer or installers. This can be useful for customers that are weighing bids from multiple installers.

Contractors can request electricity usage directly from Pepco with signed approval from the customer, should they have difficulty in finding their electricity bills. Contractors working in Pepco territory must first register online and then will be added to the approved list. Installers can log in to their account and view customer utility information in the same portal as they would submit their interconnection document. From here, 48 months of past electricity usage data can be downloaded in the form of monthly usage and interval usage. Solar installers can plug these values into their calculations when designing systems. This ensures the design fits the customer’s needs and complies with Pepco regulations.

We have found that this tool functions well and can serve as a great way for potential solar customers to share their utility usage with installers. The Green Power Connect platform provides a more streamlined solution for managing the interconnection process and is a major step forward for Pepco. This tool shows a significant improvement in the interconnection process over the past few years.