It's been nearly two years since the 2017 APS rate case and amidst all the lasting turmoil from that vote, Arizonan's are once again facing a critical APS deadline. As part of the changes that were approved by the ACC in 2017, APS is able to re-evaluate their solar buyback rate every September. Known as the "export rate" in common APS speak, this credited price for excess solar energy sent back to the grid was reduced by ten percent in September 2018. If precedent continues, September 1, 2019 could see a similar reduction.
But there's good news. As it has been for recent APS rate changes, anyone who locks in their solar contract before that vote, or anyone who already has an existing APS solar contract, will be grandfathered and shielded from future reductions for the duration of their contract.
So, if you’ve been considering solar, don't wait! Here are four big reasons why now is the time to act.
1. The current 11.6 cent solar 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 new programs sets a single "export rate" that is reviewed annually every September. The current export rate is set at 11.6 cents per kWh, down from 12.9 after September 2018's review. This is the second time the export rate is being re-evaluated post 2017, 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 2019.
3. Solar incentives still exist, but are disappearing quickly
The 30% federal solar investment tax credit is set to begin ramping down at the end of 2019. Starting in 2020, the solar tax credit drops to 26 percent, then 22 percent in 2021 before disappearing entirely by 2022. For now, the state of Arizona still offers a flat $1,000 solar tax credit, while voiding sales tax on a solar purchase.
4. Despite the confusion, solar is alive and well in APS
With APS' ongoing rate decreases and SRP's new solar plans introduced this year, many people assume that solar is no longer viable in the Valley of the Sun. 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.