FAQs: Solar Energy

The Ameren solar energy project allows anyone interested in comparing various solar technologies to do so in a real-world environment through our website and Energy Learning Center.

Consider scheduling a tour of our Energy Learning Center or a speaker for your organization's next meeting to discuss renewable energy.

Below are some of our most frequently asked questions about solar energy:

An estimate for a solar energy project is roughly \$7-9/watt installed. Assuming a 3 kW installation at \$8/watt, the system would initially cost about \$24,000 for Ameren Missouri customers. With the \$2/watt (up to 25 kW maximum) rebate, you could receive a rebate of \$6,000. Assuming you qualify for the federal tax credit, you could be credited \$8,700. This would bring the cost of the 3 kW solar system to about \$12,600 installed. The capacity factor in the Midwest is typically around 15%. If your 3 kW system produces about 4,500 kWhs annually, you would save about (\$0.08 electric rate 3,900 kWhs) \$312 annually.<br><br> Note: This is only an example. Your actual savings per year may differ. Please refer to <a href="http://www.nrel.gov/rredc/pvwatts/" target="_blank">PV Watts Calculator</a> for more information.

The average Ameren customer pays about \$0.08 a kWh. Solar installed is roughly \$0.20 to \$0.50 a kWh and requires maintenance, which is the responsibility of the homeowner.

This will depend on the equipment installed for the entire system. Periodically, you will need to clean the surface of a solar panel with water to remove any accumulation of dirt, grime or bird droppings. The industry generally agrees that inverters have about a 10 year life.

Net metering allows customers of an electric distribution company to generate their own electricity in order to offset their electricity usage. Net metering can lower a customer’s electricity bill by reducing the amount of electricity the customer must buy from the distribution company. Net metering also allows customers to be compensated for any electricity they generate but do not use. The first step, before installing any equipment, is to contact Ameren. <br><br> Learn more about net metering in <a href="/sites/aiu/ElectricChoice/Pages/NetMetering.aspx">Illinois</a> or <a href="/sites/aue/Environment/Renewables/Pages/MissouriNetMetering.aspx">Missouri</a>.

Currently, there is no application fee. There is a one-time charge for the bi-directional meter installation: 1 phase service = \$360 OR 3 phase service = \$270. Additional charges may apply for any Ameren system upgrades needed to accommodate the addition of your generation for safe and reliable service to all Ameren customers.

<strong><span style="color: #1B6CB5;">Ameren Missouri customers:</strong></span> Full retail credit is granted only up to the customer's actual usage during a month; any generation contributed to the grid above the customer's actual usage is credited at Ameren Missouri's net metering rate noted in the <a href="https://www.ameren.com/sites/AUE/Rates/Documents/UECSheet171EPPNetMetering.pdf" target="_blank">Electric Power Purchases from Qualified Net Metering Facilities</a> tariff.<br><br> <strong><span style="color: #1B6CB5;">Ameren Illinois customers:</strong></span> See <a href="https://www.ameren.com/sites/aiu/ElectricChoice/Pages/NetMetering.aspx">Net Metering</a> information for compensation information.

Ameren Missouri customers may be eligible for a \$2/watt solar rebate on systems up 25 kW or a maximum of \$50,000 rebate. The solar customer's renewable system is required to be net metered. Find more on <a href="/Solar/Pages/RebatesandFunds.aspx">rebates and funds</a>.

In Illinois, see <a href="http://www.illinoissolar.org" target="_blank">www.illinoissolar.org</a>. In Missouri, see <a href="http://adminmoseia.hypermart.net/" target="_blank">the MOSEIA website</a>.

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