Starting in 2022, if your dedicated solar meter is using a 3G cell card, it will no longer be able to communicate to the Internet once the network is phased out. If your 3G monitoring is not updated, our team members will no longer be able to remotely monitor your system’s production and SRECs will not be awarded to your account.
If your system…
- was installed before 2019
- does not use Estimated Production for SREC reporting
- does not have energy production reported manually
- uses a remote monitoring system that may report using a cellular connection (not Wi-Fi or ethernet)
then your system’s SREC production reporting may be affected by the 3G sunset. If that case, please read our FAQ below for next steps.
Next steps for affected systems
Q: What do I do if my installer does not respond? How do I know if my system is communicating production information through the 3G cellular network?
A: If your solar project has a monitoring site or app to display your solar panel system’s production, it may be connected to the internet via a 3G network.
We recommend reaching out to your solar installer first for assistance. Please confirm the following with your original solar installer:
“Is my system communicating to the monitoring app/site using the 3G network?”
If your installer informs you that you have a 3G-connected meter, you will need to upgrade your solar production meter to a version that is compatible with today’s 5G/LTE network. Until this is upgraded, you are at risk of losing SREC credit.
If it does not communicate using a 3G cell card or we use estimated production to award your site SRECs, this 3G network shutdown will not affect your system’s reporting capabilities and you should continue receiving SREC payments.
Q: What do I do if my installer does not respond?
A: If you or the team at Sol Systems use a monitoring site or app to view your solar panel system’s production, contact the monitoring company listed on the app. For example, if you use the SolarEdge monitoring app, we recommend that you call or email the SolarEdge monitoring customer service team. They should have that information regarding your site. Before calling or emailing the monitoring company, please try to locate your production device’s serial number. You can do this in most monitoring accounts or on the physical hardware installed at your property with solar. This will help the installer or the monitoring account company determine how your system communicates data.
Q: Is there any other way to determine if my monitoring is connected via 3G?
A: You may be able to determine your monitoring system’s connection type within the monitoring app or website. Here are two methods we found for the most common monitoring platforms.
- SolarEdge: Connect to your inverter to view the system status in the mySolarEdge App [video]
- Enphase: Determine your connection type
Q: If my solar production device sends data to my monitoring app/website through the 3G cell network, what do I do?
A: If your system device is using a 3G cell network connection, it will no longer be able to communicate the solar production data to the internet (and Sol Systems) once the network transitions begin. You will stop receiving SREC payments without the reporting capabilities of a new meter. Please contact your original solar panel installer immediately to upgrade your solar production meter to a version that is compatible with today’s 5G/LTE network. If your solar installer is no longer in business, we recommend reviewing the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) map of local installers or contacting a solar maintenance company.
Q: If my solar production device sends data to my monitoring app/website through my Wi-Fi or a hardwired internet cord (ethernet), what do I do?
A: If you know that your system is communicating to your monitoring site through Ethernet or your home Wi-Fi network, this 3G network shutdown should not affect your system’s reporting capabilities and you should continue receiving SREC payments.
Q: If I manually report my solar production data from my meter outside, what do I do?
A: If you have a physical solar meter that you manually report production from each month for your SREC account, you do not need to upgrade your meter. This 3G network shutdown should not affect your system’s SREC reporting if you can read the solar production data from the solar meter or inverter installed on your property.
Q: If my system is located in Massachusetts, what do I do?
A: If your SREC or SREC II system has telemetering equipment to report your solar production to a Data Acquisition System, you may be affected. The phase out should only affect the production meter’s ability to report generation, while the ability to record and store production data are likely unaffected. Therefore, the 3G phase-out should not affect any system less than 10kW that has been manually reporting production to Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s (MassCEC) Production Tracking System (PTS).
To minimize the disruption to the market and to support system owners' ability to continue generating their SRECs, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) offers a list of potential options for solar system owners to consider:
- Hardwire If available, the metering system may be able to be hardwired into the internet and avoid using cellular services going forward.
- Modem Replacement Many metering systems may be able to have the modem replaced with an LTE-capable system.
- Meter Replacement New meters with LTE-capable systems can be installed.
- Switch to Manual Reporting- Effective January 2022, MassCEC’s PTS Reporting Requirements have been modified to allow SREC and SREC II systems 25kW direct current (DC) or smaller to manually report their production. The ability to manually report had previously been limited to systems that were 10kW or smaller. For assistance in changing your SREC or SREC II system to manual reporting, please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
DOER encourages system owners to work with professional installers to assess their production meters and ensure that the installed equipment meets all of the requirements, including the MassCEC Reporting Requirements (SRECs).
If you have any questions, please direct them to DOER.SREC@mass.gov.
Q: My remote monitoring was managed by Locus Energy, what should I do next?
A: Some impacted solar systems relied on a third-party subscription service through Locus Energy – now Also Energy – for their remote monitoring. If your system is impacted, you may have the meter replaced, or you can switch to manual self-reporting each month. To complete a manual reading, observe the digital display of your Locus Energy meter and identify the numerical value that appears next to the "Net" reading (see image insert). This will be your system's latest lifetime (cumulative) reading, that you can report to Sol Systems via phone call or email, or enter directly through your Customer Dashboard.
Please note: owners of impacted systems located in Massachusetts and Massachusetts only must enter their meter readings directly through the MassCEC Production Tracking System.
(In the example above, this meter from Locus Energy displays a lifetime reading of 33668 kWh.)
Q: If I get a new meter installed, what should I do next?
A: Please make sure that Sol Systems has access to your remote monitoring site and fill any gaps in monthly production data.
If your system is located in Massachusetts, please consult this article.