The solar market has faced a variety of obstacles under the new administration. Earlier this year, tariffs were imposed on the industry that many were sure would threaten its growth. Though the tariffs introduced a few road bumps to the market, the solar industry is still going strong and is set to soar in many areas, including production and jobs. Becoming a prevalent energy source has been an upward battle for the solar industry, but it is nonetheless surpassing many other forms of energy production and becoming a major component of global energy industries
The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) plays an important role in our everyday lives. The commission regulates utilities (like water, electric, and gas), which means the decisions they make have a huge impact on everything from how much you pay for electricity each month, to the kinds of energy used to produce this electricity. Arizona is one of a handful of states that elects our corporation commission, which provides us the opportunity to elect candidates who are dedicated to a brighter, greener, and more resilient future for energy in our state.
Renewable energy was a hot topic during this past legislative session. Strides were taken, but there were also setbacks. Here are a few of the major legislative updates that will impact Arizona’s clean energy future:
In March, the Arizona Corporation Commission will cast a critical vote on the pending APS rate request case. This case is a huge deal for solar customers in our state, and will impact the future of solar in Arizona.
APS filed a request with the ACC in June of this year, proposing new demand fees on monthly bills. The proposed rate plan would reduce the amount of compensation rooftop solar customers receive for energy they send back to the grid, and the net metering credit could drop. The plan also requires solar customers to be on the two highest demand rates.
If approved, these new rate charges would only apply to new rooftop solar customers after next summer’s effective rate date (July 1, 2017).
This decision will be crucial in determining how we value solar in Arizona. APS says this change is necessary to accommodate the growth of solar in our state, but the demand for rooftop solar could take a drastic hit in the wake of a reduced net metering credit. Paired with the increased demand charge, making the choice to go solar may seem far less attractive to customers.
APS is offering a 20-year grandfathering clause to existing solar customers and customers who begin their solar installation before July 1, 2017. This clause will ensure that the existing net metering rules will apply to any systems installed before this date.
If you are considering solar for your home, start your solar installation as soon as possible to ensure this potential hike does not affect your solar energy system rates. Now is the time to take advantage of the 20-year grandfathering clause and ensure your investment aligns with more solar-friendly policies. Again, the potential rate hike would only apply to new solar customers after July 1, 2017. Contact us today to learn more about which solar options are best for your home.