4 Ways That Solar Makes Financial Sense, Again, for SRP Customers

Sabrina Lopez
April 25, 2016
3 min read

In 2015, SRP changed its rate structure for new rooftop solar installations, altering the economics of computing solar ROI. These changes left many SRP customers still considering solar, wondering if a solar investment would improve their finances.

In short, SRP discontinued its usage-based solar pricing plan, where customers paid a simple time-of-day kilowatt-hour rate for any extra energy pulled from the grid outside their solar production. Their new E-27 rate plan replaced the old model with new variable charges assessed from the maximum power drawn in a 30-minute window during on-peak hours (Summer 1-8 PM weekdays, or Winter 5-9 weekday mornings and evenings). 

This change dramatically complicated the ROI calculation, and solar installers needed time to collect data and develop new solutions to break the roadblock. Fortunately, thanks to reimagined solar systems like our Smart Solar with Demand Management, residential solar is, once again, a compelling financial and environmental option for SRP customers.

Here are the four ways that solar makes financial sense, again, for SRP customers:

1. Add Smart Solar with Demand Management: With SRP’s new pricing, careful management of high-energy appliances during on-peak hours can offer sizable savings. Smart Solar with Demand Management uses sophisticated software and tolerances set by the customer and solar integrator to carefully balance big power loads, such as AC units, pool pumps, or water heaters. By juggling these high-usage devices during costly on-peak hours, Smart Solar helps to smooth your demand curve and avoid costly energy peaks.

2. Take advantage of historically low off, and on-peak kilowatt-hour rates: Since the new E-27 solar plan places a high value on the demand-based fees, SRP took the liberty to reduce all base kilowatt hour rates to levels not seen since the 1960s. In other words, investing in Smart Solar with Demand Management buys you cheap kilowatt hours. As long as you’re controlling your demand peaks, you can enjoy very cheap energy.

3. More options for panel orientation: While the prior best practice was to install panels on south-facing roofs for maximum exposure during prime high-sun times of day, Smart Solar often includes west-facing panels that draw late-afternoon light to improve demand shaving during high-demand periods such as late afternoons, when families arrive home from work and school.

4. Demand management requires fewer solar panels: With the new E-27 rate plan, the objective is no longer about simply producing as much solar energy as possible over the longest timeframe. Instead, the goal is to mitigate peak usage draws from the SRP grid. So, with the added demand management technology, Smart Solar systems require fewer panels and are typically priced at, or even below, the cost of more conventional solar energy systems. Moreover, Smart Solar with Demand Management achieves these benefits without the added cost and complexity of in-home backup battery systems. If you’re an SRP customer and want to see how solar can, once again, make financial sense to you to contact us today for a free, customized, solar energy consultation.