APS, Net Metering, and the Future of AZ Solar

Net Metering

Net Metering

Recently the Arizona Republic and AZ Central have reported the news that APS is requesting the Arizona Corporation Commission give them permission to add a fee of $50 to $100 dollars to solar power home owners to compensate for reported losses needed to maintain the power grid. As a top solar panel installer for residential solar homes, G&S Electric Inc. would like to focus on some of the facts behind the conversation.

Solar panels are a great way to offset electricity costs. Home owners installing photovoltaic panels can save lots of money by switching to solar. With solar panel lease programs and solar rebates, as well as lowered costs of solar panels, many home owners are finding ways to install solar options. Most solar installs by G&S Electric Inc. are grid tied solar solutions. Although we do offer off-grid solar solutions to home owners, many find the benefits of net metering (“net metering” is where electrical power credits are provided for excess solar energy fed back into the grid). APS contends that as more home owners are able to switch to solar power, they will loose valuable income needed to maintain the same grid that powers their homes during evening hours when the no solar energy can be provided.

The statement by APS is that as residential solar and commercial solar power systems expand, the access to the grid for off solar use needs to remain fair. APS states their company is one of the premier leaders leveraging solar energy as a renewable resource to meet requirements set forth by the government. They state that roof-top solar customers benefit from 24/7 access to the grid without contributing significantly to the costs to maintain and upgrade the grid. So, APS is looking for ways to manage an increasing solar energy population before they end up in a crisis of not being able to maintain the grid non-solar customers rely on, and solar based homes also use.

APS is asking the Arizona Corporation Commission to review two possible strategies to ensure successful continuous power whether their customers use solar alternative energy resources or the grid from other power installations. The first deals with net metering, where home owners installing solar panels receive a bill credit based on the solar electricity sold back to utility companies like APS. Although the rate is set by the Commission, APS is asking for a rate that more accurately reflects all customers of APS, not just those affected by roof top solar installations. The other request is to increase the down payments for solar leasing or increasing the cash incentives for roof-top solar installations. The concept here is that by paying more upfront costs, the percent of home owners using solar energy will have lowered monthly payments for the use of the photovoltaic panels installed. This means they will have more monthly capital to pay what APS believes is a fair share of the grid use and maintenance fees. They see this option as an offset, the solar promoters pay more upfront costs to offset additional monthly costs added on by APS.

All businesses are responsible to ensure their budgets include enough working capital to maintain existing resources and invest in new resources which will enable that business to grow. APS is no different here than how any other business should be run. If you own a pizza shop, you have to have the best ovens, the best ingredients, and the best customer service in order to be the best pizza shop. At G&S Electric Inc., we hold the same philosophy. We invest in our licensed, bonded, and highly skilled electricians, ensure they are the best trained, we work with the best photovoltaic panel distributors we can find, and do our best to ensure our customers are ecstatic about the solar services offered at G&S Electric Inc. We aim to be the best solar panel installer in Phoenix and for all of Arizona solar needs. APS states that is what their aim is as a pro-solar utility company. G&S Electric Inc., will report more on the facts of the conversation as it unfolds. We would like to point out that the plans for any changes in solar incentives or changes in solar net metering include a 20 year “grandfather clause” to rate increases. If you are considering installing roof-top solar, now may be a great opportunity to contact G&S Electric Inc. to avoid any changes in net metering or solar power incentives.

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