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Solar Myth #1: The Utilities are Trying to Kill Solar

Shannon Higgins

February 2019

When it comes to solar, there's quite a bit of misinformation circulating out there. While it's easy to blame utilities, there are just as many desperate actors from within the solar industry who are perfectly willing to contribute to, and even capitalize, on people's confusion.   

To help combat this trend, we're launching an educational blog series called Solar Myth Busters. In the coming weeks, we will shed some light on the scams, while highlighting the legitimate opportunities. To stay up to date, please subscribe to our blog and check back frequently.

Now, let's get to our first solar myth....

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Myth

The utilities are trying to kill solar, so I should avoid the uncertainty all together.

Fact

Solar is alive and well in Arizona, but how systems are designed is changing. These changes are driven in part by rooftop solar, but other factors such electric vehicles, improvements in energy efficiency, and a growing at-home workforce are all having a measurable impact on how people power their lives. To address these changes, Arizona utilities are designing different rate structures as a way to better align grid performance with evolving consumption patterns.

solar energy rooftopTechnology-first solar companies, like SunPower and Sun Valley Solar Solutions, have been at the forefront of energy innovation and disruption for many years. By leading with technology and a solutions-based sales model, savvy solar companies are actually thriving as these new rate plans are introduced. In 2018 alone, Arizona ranked 3rd in the nation for solar installed and  employed over 8,000 people in solar. In fact, even utilities see solar as a critical component of a 21st-century energy model, and often approach leading local firms like Sun Valley Solar for assistance with their own solar installations.

Rather than retreating, the best solar companies are using the latest technology to creating even MORE ways to save through innovations like batteries and demand managers. In fact, demand based rate plans are the perfect example. With demand plans, homeowners pay an additional fees for their highest on-peak 30-minute (SRP), or 60-minute (APS) usage window . But, demand plans also offer a dramatically reduced per-kWh rate, so there's significant savings available for customers willing to control their demand spikes with the help of technology. 

Adding a battery to your solar array is another way to unlock big savings from modern rate plans. A battery allows you to store your excess energy rather than sending it back to the grid in exchange for a credit (which are getting smaller every year). You can then use this stored energy during more expensive on-peak hours. Some batteries can even hedge against demand fees. 

It's true that modern rate plans are changing how solar savings are calculated and how solar energy systems are designed, but the right combination of technology and education can unlock even more savings for those willing to be involved in their energy consumption.

If you've been thinking about making the switch to solar, now is the time to act! With the 30% ITC coming to an end, 2019 is surely the most important year for solar in more than a decade. Contact one of our qualified solar integrators to start your solar project today!

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Other parts in our Myth Busters series: