Sonya installed solar on both her own home, and her rental property! See why she believes rooftop solar should be a big part of Tucson’s energy future.
Thanks to Dan and Kate for sharing why they think clean, local, rooftop solar is important!
James “Cosmo” Cramer shares why he loves rooftop solar, and why he thinks it’s important for Tucson!
Local clean energy, climate, and electric vehicle advocate Vincent Pawlowski drives on sunshine! See why he loves his solar electric system and believes rooftop solar is important for Tucson:
There’s a lot going on for solar in Arizona. With the end of net metering, our southern Arizona utilities have each proposed different policies, rate structures, and fees. Here’s a summary of the current status and what to expect in the future:
Tucson Electric Power
Can I still install solar with net metering?
Yes, until the Arizona Corporation Commission decides TEP’s rate case, customers can use net metering, and will be grandfathered for twenty years.
What are TEP’s current rates for rooftop solar customers?
Customers with solar electric systems can choose the Residential Basic Plan. This plan includes a monthly service charge of $13.00. Energy charges range between 9.9-12.3¢ per kilowatt-hour, depending on your monthly usage, and the time of year. You’ll also pay some taxes and fees, plus a fee for the bidirectional meter needed for net metering. That meter fee is $2.05/month or a one-time cost of $142.95 for residential customers, or less for commercial customers.
Here is how net metering works with your electric bill. We’ll be sharing more about how billing will work for systems without net metering in the future. TEP and SSVEC customers can still choose net metering. APS customers will not be able to use net metering starting the end of this month, and Trico customers are already on an export rate system.
Want to better understand where energy comes and goes in a home with a grid-tie solar electric system? Check out the infographic below! We’d also love to hear your thoughts and questions in comments section.
Welcome to the solar coaster
Members of Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative (SSVEC) have a pretty good feeling of what the “solar coaster” is. Since April of 2015, when SSVEC abruptly proposed elimination of net metering, they’ve felt the tug of war between utility interests, the solar industry, and other stakeholders. We’re now in the home stretch of this long, involved process. Over the next 2-3 months, the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) will decide if they want there to be a minimally viable solar market within SSVEC’s service area, or if the current solar slowdown will come to a complete halt.
So how’d we get here? Since this post isn’t intended as a sleep aid, I won’t dig too deep. As noted above, SSVEC proposed gutting net metering over two years ago, and tried to make those changes effective about 30 days after submitting their proposal, before any review by the ACC occurred. This effectively stopped the solar market in their territory—in the next four months, we had only one customer choose to install solar with the possibility of the new rate structures hanging over their head.
Wondering what a residential demand charge is and if you should switch electric rates? Check out our new infographic! If you have comments or questions, please share them below.
Maybe you’re someone who checks every utility bill insert. Or maybe you just can’t get enough of the legal notices in the back of the newspaper. But if you aren’t “that guy” (or gal), you might not know that Tucson Electric Power is yet again proposing changes to rates around solar in the second phase of their rate case.