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5 Reasons to Go Solar Before the APS Buyback Rate Decreases

Shannon Higgins

May 2023

aps rate review freepikJust as it has every year since 2017, APS is approved to review the buyback rate for excess solar energy sent back to the grid with any changes taking effect on September 1, 2023. If you've been holding off on your decision to go solar, now is a great time to lock in better savings before they're gone. 

If the last four years have set any kind of precedent, APS will soon reduce the buyback rate that ensures maximum credits for any excess solar energy sent back to the grid. This means less return for any future solar customers who miss the September 1st deadline.

The good news is that anyone who locks in a signed solar interconnection agreement before September 1st, 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 8.46 cent solar buyback will decrease

aps solar buyback reviewAPS previously dissolved its net metering program in 2017, which offered a 1-to-1 credit for any excess energy sent back to the grid. In its place, they established a single "export rate" that is reviewed annually every September. The current export rate is 8.46 cents per kWh, and is expected to decrease on September 1st as it has every year since 2017, with the exception of 2020.

This is the fourth time the export rate is being re-evaluated post-2017. It is likely that an ACC vote in the upcoming months will approve a new rate for all solar contracts that are signed after September 1, 2023.

Dates Effective Solar Buyback Rate Unit
September 1, 2017 - September 30, 2018 12.9 cents per kWh
October 1, 2018 - September 30, 2019 11.61 cents per kWh
October 1, 2019 - September 30, 2021 10.45 cents per kWh
October 1, 2021 - August 31, 2022 9.405 cents per kWh
September 1, 2022 through August 31, 2023 8.465 cents per kWh


2. Locking in a solar contract now will shield you for 10 years

If you've been considering solar in APS, it's worth highlighting that APS honors new solar contracts for 10 years. So, if you’ve been considering solar and want to ensure today’s best rates while shielding yourself from future rate increases or buyback credit decreases, don't wait to lock in your solar contract. Signing your contract early ensures we have enough time to secure approval on your solar energy design and grid connection contract with APS.

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3. APS is also seeking approval on another rate hike

In addition to the solar buyback rate expected to decrease, APS is also seeking approval on a rate hike that would increase customer bills between 13-23% per month, or an average of $18. If approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission, this rate increase is expected to take effect on December 1st, 2023. Locking in your solar contract now ensures you not only have a better buyback rate, but you'll be shielded from rising energy costs that are already looming on the horizon.


4. Be installed before the rush

Going solar is a multi-month process that's subject to outside entities and their respective timelines and backlogs. Starting your APS solar project today ensures you'll be installed and ready for these end of year changes before the rush of APS customers flood in. You'll also be able to start saving on your monthly utility bills sooner rather than later!


5. Claim lucrative solar incentives

The current 30% federal solar investment tax credit was reinstated and extended in August 2022 through the Inflation Reduction Act. The now-outdated ramp down schedule had the previous 26% rate decreasing to 22% on January 1st, 2032. The refreshed 30% solar tax credit is now retroactive to all 2022 installations, and will remain at 30% through December 31, 2032.

As part of the IRA, there is now a standalone 30% energy storage tax credit. To qualify, customers must have an energy storage system of at least 5kWh capacity. The state of Arizona also still offers a flat $1,000 solar tax credit while voiding sales tax on a solar purchase. There's never been a better time to go solar and claim these lucrative solar incentives!


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 APS solar quote. If you aren't quite ready for a quote, you can download our complimentary whitepaper: Are Solar & Batteries Right for You? 

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*For more information about the APS deadline, you can access the APS Rate Rider PDF here.