Solar Power In Tucson Arizona
Solar Is A Great Idea With Some Big Tradeoffs And New Options From TEP
Arizona ranks second in the U.S. for rooftop solar. Arizona ranks first for utility-scale solar power plants.
Latest Solar Power Programs From Tucson Electric Power
While solar power options are available from third party providers, you should be aware that TEP offers two easy ways to go solar.
1. TEP GoSolar Home – Residential TEP customers who own their homes can buy all of their power from a local 5-megawatt TEP solar array for a monthly price that can remain fixed for 10 years.
The fixed monthly bill is based on your previous 12 months of electric use and will stay the same as long as future use doesn’t go up or down by more than 15 percent.
2. TEP GoSolar Shares – Purchase some or potentially all of your power from local TEP solar arrays on a flexible, month-to-month basis. Buy solar power in “shares” of 150 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month for about 1 cent per kWh.
The power supply component of your bill covered by shares is fixed for 20 years, and the shares are exempt from some surcharges. Both residential and commercial customers can participate in this program.
TEP is no longer accepting applications for the TEP Residential Solar Program. That pilot program was designed to provide homeowners with energy from a rooftop solar array through a flat monthly fee for electric service that will remain fixed for up to 25 years.
Major Changes To TEP’s Solar Programs
Solar Power Update – Just Released – September 11, 2018
The Arizona Corporate Commission granted TEP’s request to end the solar net-metering program.
When a solar company designs a custom system for you, it’s designed to purposely overproduce power so when the sun goes down you pull back the overproduction created during the day so you don’t purchase that power from TEP.
Sending the extra power back to the grid is accomplished using net-meters. As you can imagine, TEP does not like this program as it allows each solar customer to separate relie less on TEP receive cheaper electric power.
On September 11th, TEP’s wish to remove the Net-Metering program was granted. It goes into effect in 10 days.
Tucson Electric Power is one of the nation’s leading solar power utilities. Since Tucson AZ has over 350 days of sunshine each year this shouldn’t be a surprise. TEP’s renewable energy programs have generated awards and recognition.
TEP has developed 2 new rate plans for new users of roof top solar systems. You will need to contact TEP to determine the qualifications for the plans.
TEP also ranks among the top 10 utilities nationwide for kilowatt hours per customer provided by solar energy.
Home Solar Units
TEP’s Solar Program offers an easy and affordable way to meet your electric needs. TEP customers have the opportunity to buy this solar power on a monthly basis. But TEP is proposing higher charges and fewer credits for homes with rooftop solar.
To Go Solar Or Not To Go Solar
Customers can buy some or all of your power through the program. It will reduce or eliminate the use of energy from “conventional” resources. However, the solar power program will increase your electric bill.
While solar power in Arizona seems to be a no-brainer, it’s not. Arizona solar power is ground zero in a potential battle over solar energy incentives. The battle concerns the ability of homeowners with rooftop solar power systems to sell power back to utility companies.
At the core of the issue is whether or not utilities will be allowed to derail the decentralized “distributed generation” energy movement.
The use of “net metering” is a target for the Arizona Public Service. APS is Arizona’s largest utility. APS is battling solar power system installers over “net metering”.
Net metering allows homeowners to receive a credit on their electric bills for any excess electricity generated by their home solar panels. These credits and the ability to offset future rate increases has been a driver for an increasing number of homeowners moving to Arizona solar power.
So what is the future of Arizona solar power? Well, it should be bright and sunny. Pun intended!
Before you pull the trigger on solar panels for your home, check out these considerations.
The Economics Of Solar For The Utilities
However, the question is at what cost? As homeowners install home solar power units on their homes it creates issues for utilities. Utilities suggest the grid is not made for receiving input from an ever increasing number of home solar power systems.
Utilities love big! Big coal power plants. Big nuclear power plants and Big solar power plants. Critics suggest utilities such as APS are trying to stymie home rooftop solar power.
As everyone knows, utilities are monopolies. Monopolies must maintain their hold on power generation from all sources. Remember personal computers vs mainframes?
Utilities must build larger centralized solar power plants to meet state renewable energy mandates. That mission is in conflict homeowners having home solar power systems.
Another issue related to having solar panels is are the solar panels leased, financed, or 100% paid for. If leased or financed, you the seller may have a problem when selling your home. Watch this video of a real life scenario when a buyer tried to buy a home with solar panels.
The battle has been started, but the outcome is uncertain. So if you are considering a home solar power system, take the time to understand the issues. And potential outcomes.
Considering A Home In Tucson?
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