When the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) voted to approve the APS rate case last year, solar customers who were able to lock in their solar contracts before the big vote breathed a massive sigh of relief. After all, those very people are now enjoying grandfathered solar rates for 20 years—clean, affordable energy without the madness that comes with constant rate shifts.
Fast forward one year, and we’re once again staring at a critical APS deadline. As part of the changes that came with the 2017 rate case, APS is set to re-evaluate their solar buyback rate every September. And as before, anyone who locks in their solar contract before that vote will be grandfathered into today’s best rates.
If you’ve been considering solar, don't wait! Here are four big reasons why now is the time to act.
1. The current 12.9 cent buyback rate is under review: In 2017, APS did away with net metering, the program that offered a 1-to-1 credit for any excess energy sent back to the grid. The current programs have a set buyback rate of 12.9 cents per kWh. This rate is currently being re-evaluated, as it will every year going forward. An ACC vote in the coming weeks will set a new amount for the following year beginning in September.
2. Locking in a solar contract before September will shield you for 10 years: APS honors solar contracts for 10 years (this changed from 20 years in the 2017 rate case). So, if you’ve been considering solar and want to ensure today’s best rates while shielding yourself from future rate increases, lock in your solar contract before September 2018.
3. Incentives still exist, but are disappearing quickly: The federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) allows you to offset 30% of a solar purchase. The state of Arizona also offers a flat $1,000 solar tax credit, while voiding sales tax on a solar purchase. The 30% ITC is only available through the year 2019. In 2020, the ITC begins dropping before ending permanently in 2022.
4. Despite the confusion, solar is alive and well in APS: With last year’s rate case, and the SRP rate change a couple years before, many people assume that solar is no longer viable in The Valley. This couldn’t be further from the truth. There is still plenty of room for savings. With that said, a solar ROI typically factors in available incentives and energy buyback credits, all of which are ramping down as time marches on. So, when it comes to solar, waiting is generally not the most lucrative strategy.
If you are looking to cash-in your piece of Arizona’s abundant sunshine and lock-in maximum savings before the next big rate review, contact us for a custom solar quote. If you aren't quite ready for a quote, you can download our complimentary whitepaper: Is Solar Right for You?
*For more information about the featured image, you can access the APS Rate Rider PDF here.