Net Zero Solar is a Full-Service Solar Installation Company

Rate Case Rundown

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.

Although TEP has been advertising various rate choices, including time-of-use rates and demand rates, these rates don’t pair well with rooftop solar.

What is TEP proposing for rooftop solar customers once their rate case is complete?

TEP is proposing increased fixed fees, steep “grid access charges,” a decrease in the amount paid for any extra solar energy sent back to their grid, and an even larger solar meter fee. For more detail on these proposals, see our blog post.

For a typical customer, these proposed changes would mean it would take well over a dozen year to recoup their investment in solar. Want to see how it would affect you? Try out our calculator.

What happens next?

The administrative law judge in this case heard public comment on this case, on June 26th. Hearings on the case will resume on October 23rd, 2017. After hearings are done, the law judge will write a recommended order and opinion (ROO). That ROO will be submitted to our elected Arizona Corporation Commissioners for a vote, likely in late 2017 or early 2018.

You can still make comments to the docket, online, at, referencing Docket 01933A-15-0322. You can also mail a comment referencing the same docket number to:

Arizona Corporation Commission
Docket Control Center
1200 West Washington
Phoenix, AZ 85007

A solar electric system in Tucson, Arizona

Trico Electric Cooperative


Can I still install solar with net metering?

No. On February 24th, 2017 the Arizona Corporation Commission voted to end net metering for Trico members.

What are Trico’s current residential rates for rooftop solar?

Trico’s customers currently pay $20 in fixed monthly charges under the standard residential rate. Energy charges are between 11.8-12.8¢ per kilowatt-hour.

Rooftop solar customers will be compensated at a 7.7¢ per kilowatt-hour “export rate” for any solar energy that’s not used immediately as it’s produced. They would also pay a $3.38 monthly fee for a “monthly data cost.”

What happens now?

Trico customers can still choose to go solar under these new rates. Because of the large difference between retail energy rates and export energy rates, it will be important for your installer to understand your specific energy use patterns. If at all possible, you should obtain interval data from Trico and your installer should carefully model the relationship between solar production and your energy use.

Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative

Can I still install solar with net metering?

Yes. SSVEC’s rate case is in process, but members can still use net metering until the rate case is resolved.

What are SSVEC’s current rates?

SSVEC’s residential members currently pay monthly service charge of $15.00, but this charge will rise to $18.00, $22.00, and $25.00 over the next three years. All members also pay various taxes and fees. Members who own rooftop solar electric systems also pay a monthly $2.70 net meter fee.

What is SSVEC proposing for the future for rooftop solar customers?

SSVEC has proposed an increased monthly fee of $35.00 for customers with solar, $10.00 more than other residential customers. They have also proposed a drop energy charges to 10.3¢/kWh. The biggest hit would come from the proposed drop in compensation for energy export, to 7.1¢/kWh, with this rate dropping about 10% each year. Rather surprisingly, they are also proposing there be no ten-year “lock-in” of the export rate, even the ACC directed utilities to implement this lock-in.

The bottom line for new customers is that it would take over fifteen years to recoup their investment in solar, if SSVEC’s proposals are approved by the ACC. For more information on the possible effects, see our blog post.

What happens next?

The hearing for this case was on July 20th. Interested parties will file two rounds of “briefs” by August 31st, and September 15th. When this is complete, the law judge in the case will write her recommended order and opinion, before sending the case to our elected commissioners. We expect that the Commission could consider the case as early as October.

Until the case is decided, SSVEC customers can still use net metering, and will be grandfathered for twenty years from the date of interconnection. Note that SSVEC is proposing increased monthly charges and decreased energy charges even for customers with grandfathering.

You can still make comments to the docket, online, at, referencing Docket E-01575A-15-0312. You can also mail a comment referencing the same docket number to:

Arizona Corporation Commission
Docket Control Center
1200 West Washington
Phoenix, AZ 85007

Arizona Public Service


Can I still install solar with net metering?

Barely! On August 15th, the Arizona Corporation Commission voted 4-1 to approve a settlement in the APS rate case. Customers who want to use net metering will need to have an application in to APS by August 31st, 2017.

What are APS current rates?

APS’s new rates are effective August 19th, 2017. Most solar customers will want to choose the Saver Choice rate. This rate has a monthly charge of about $13.00, and energy charges that vary by time of year, and time of day. Those energy charges range from 3.2-24.3¢/kWh. Rooftop solar customers will also pay a monthly “grid access charge” based on their solar electric system size, of $0.93 per kW-DC.

What will APS rates be when net metering is gone?

Effective September 1st, new solar customers will still be on the rates mentioned above, but will receive 12.9¢/kWh for any energy exported to APS, with that rate locked in for ten years. That export rate will be adjusted downward each year.

How Does Net Metering Work With My Electric Bill?

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.
Read More