Solar Power Rebate FAQs

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KCPL Solar Rebate Limit

  • What is the process for applying for solar rebates?
    • The process is as follows:
      1. Net metering and solar rebate applications received.
      2. Net metering application administrative review.
      3. Net metering approved/denied within 10 days of receipt of application.
      4. Upon approval of the net metering application, KCP&L will also extend a solar rebate offer if funds are available. This will be considered the solar rebate offer acceptance date unless the customer notifies KCP&L within one week that the offer is not accepted.
      5. Following the administrative approval and solar rebate offer, the application proceeds to engineering and technical review. If your application is denied you will have five days to fix and resubmit the application without losing your place in the queue.
      6. Customers have six months from the solar rebate offer acceptance date to complete construction. An additional six months may be made available if the customer can prove significant progress to completion.
      7. When construction is complete, customer should request a field inspection from KCP&L by responding to the email notification that the net metering application was approved.
      8. Pending a successful inspection, KCP&L will have 30 days to schedule meter exchange. The day the meter is exchanged is the “system operational date,” which is the day your solar rebate payment begins processing.
      9. Solar rebate payments will be paid on a first come, first served basis determined by the acceptance date of the solar rebate offer.
      *Once your net metering application has been received by KCP&L and an initial review shows that the forms are filled out correctly, KCP&L Engineering will review the application. For projects 10 kilowatts or less, KCP&L has 30 days to review the net metering application. For projects more than 10 kilowatts, KCP&L has 90 days to review the net metering application. 

  • What is the amount of the solar rebate?
    • Missouri law has also established the amount per watt used to calculate rebate payments per year until 2020, when solar rebate payments will no longer be available. Currently, for projects that become operational prior to June 30, 2014, the total rebate limit on any single solar project is $50,000.

      System Operational Dates

      Solar Rebate

      Before June 30, 2014

      $2.00/watt

      Between July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015

      $1.50/watt

      Between July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016

      $1.00/watt

      Between July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2019

      $.50/watt

      Between July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020

      $.25/watt


      *See Missouri House Bill HB 142.
  • Why is the rebate only offered in Missouri?
    • The rebate program is mandated for Missouri Investor Owned Utilities, such as KCP&L, as part of Missouri's Proposition-C referendum that was passed in 2009. Proposition-C focused on creating a Renewable Energy Standard for Missouri, requiring investor owned utilities in Missouri to provide a specified percentage of energy sold to Missouri retail customers to be derived from renewable energy resources. In addition, Proposition C included a provision intending to increase the amount of solar energy installations in the state by requiring Missouri utilities to pay a $2/watt rebate to residential and commercial retail customers who install qualified solar installations. The Renewable Energy Standard statute for Kansas does not include provisions for a similar solar rebate component.
  • How many customers have applied for and qualified for rebates this year and in previous years?
    • Information on the percentage of funds paid per year and the annual cap for each service area (KCP&L and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations) will be available here. In addition, our KCP&L Solar Team is available at 816-242-5971 816-242-5971 to answer customer questions about this process.

      KCP&L’s solar rebate payments (in the KCP&L and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations service areas) have increased significantly each year since the program started in 2010.

      Year

      Amount Paid*

      2010

      $357,000

      2011

      $2.6M

      2012

      $12.5M

      *Combined amount of rebates paid for systems in the KCP&L and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Service Areas
  • What is the process for determining who gets paid first?
    • We want to encourage continued investment in solar energy, but also want to ensure a transparent and fair application process in order to distribute limited rebate dollars on an annual basis. As a result, we are providing detailed information about the application process, including timing for each step, yearly cap amounts and solar rebate thresholds to each customer who applies for a rebate. To learn more, please review this graphic, which explains each step in the process.

      Solar rebate payments will be paid on a first come, first served basis determined by the date that a system became operational (defined by when the meter is exchanged).
  • Does the location of a solar project matter when it comes to solar rebate payments?
    • Yes. There are separate application forms for customers in each service area (KCP&L and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations). Customers must fill out the correct form for the service area that corresponds to the address where the solar system will be installed for the application to be reviewed. Click here for the Net metering/solar rebate application forms.

      In addition, there are separate solar rebate funding amounts allocated for each service area, which total approximately $20 million for 2013.

      Information on the percentage of funds paid per year and the annual cap for each service area (KCP&L and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations) will be available here. In addition, our KCP&L Solar Team is available at 816-242-5971 816-242-5971 to answer customer questions about this process.
  • What happens if I don’t complete construction within six months of my solar rebate acceptance?
    • If your solar system is not operational (defined as when the meter exchange occurs) within six months of acceptance of the rebate offer, in order to keep eligibility for the rebate offer, you must file a report with KCP&L demonstrating substantial project progress and indicating continued interest in the rebate. The six month report must include proof of purchase of the majority of the solar electric system components, partial system construction, and building permit if required by the appropriate authority. Customers who do not demonstrate substantial progress within six months of receipt of the rebate offer, or achieve full operation within one year of receipt of rebate offer, will be required to reapply for any solar rebate.
  • How do I request a field inspection when the construction is complete?
    • When construction is complete, please request an inspection from KCP&L by responding to the email you received notifying you that your net metering application was approved. The e-mail address is NetMeteringApp@kcpl.com. Please attach pictures of the solar array, system disconnect and existing meter to the request.
  • How soon are solar rebates paid after the system operational date?
    • Solar rebates are paid within 30 days of the system operational date, as long as rebate funds are available for that year.

      In the event the volume of solar rebates causes the cap to be reached for a given year, KCP&L will continue to accept rebate applications at the dollar-per-watt rate for the time period in which the system becomes operational. However, payment of the solar rebates may be postponed until a following year in which funds are available. Customers will be notified of their place in the payment line at the time their system operational date is confirmed.
  • How does a solar electricity or PV system work?
    • Photovoltaic panels work by converting some of the energy in sunlight into a clean form of electricity that can be used in our houses. The PV cells consist of a positive and a negative slice of silicon placed under a thin slice of glass. As the protons of the sunlight beat down onto the PV cell they knock the neutrons off the silicon. The negatively charged free neutrons are attracted to the silicon but are trapped by the magnetic field that is formed from the opposing fields. Small wires on the silicon catch these neutrons and when connected in a circuit an electric current is formed. This reaction gives Direct Current electricity though, and it must be passed through an inverter to be converted into an Alternating Current used in our homes to power any electrical items.
  • How much do solar panels cost?
    • For a Solar PV system tied to the electrical grid, cost is generally figured on a per watt basis. A solar array, in today's market, will cost between $6.50 and $8 per watt completely installed. Larger systems cost less per watt than smaller systems. A small, residential, 3,000 watt system would be around $24,000 before taxes. This system would produce approximately 3,800 Kilowatt Hours (KWH) power annually. Assuming a home uses 10,000 KWH a year, this level of power production would offset 38% of the usage. Be sure to get current installed cost estimates since pricing varies as the cost of the equipment, i.e. solar panels, fluctuates.
  • What size system do I need to power my house?
    • For an existing home or building the first step is to review the last 12 months of electric bills. The square footage of a home or building is not necessarily related to energy usage, which is why it is important to review the bills. For new construction or renovations, schematics can be reviewed and energy load modeled by an independent consultant. With this information, solar array size is calculated and energy production estimated.
  • What happens during an electric outage?
    • Unless battery storage is installed, your solar array will disconnect and not provide power.
  • What happens on cloudy days?
    • The solar array will produce electricity even on a cloudy day, but at a lower level than a clear sunny day.
  • What happens at night?
    • It depends on the type of system you have installed. Solar arrays do not produce energy at night. With a simple grid-tied system - you draw energy from the traditional electrical grid at night. With an off-grid system, your batteries provide stored power at night.
  • Will a PV system produce enough energy to handle all my electricity needs?
    • It can, but typically it does not unless the home is very energy efficient and/or originally designed for renewable energy. Most homes considered net-zero for energy usage or completely off-grid utilize hybrid systems - Solar PV, Solar Water Heating, and Wind. Most typical installations on existing homes simply offset a portion of energy usage.
  • Who can install a solar system on my home?
    • Right now, there are only a handful of experienced solar installers in the state. There are no licensing requirements or other consumer protections. The homeowner needs to check references, the BBB, and ask about the level of experience of potential installation companies. The Missouri Solar Energy Industry Association (www.moseia.org) has recently formed to help train and certify installers. MOSEIA will provide a list of installers in the future, but consumers will still need to research experience levels and references.
  • Where should I put my solar panels?
    • As installed, the Solar Electric System shall be situated in a location where a minimum of eighty-five percent (85%) of the solar resource is available to the system as verified by the Customer or the Customer’s installer at the time of installation.
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