The Importance of Timing for Arizona’s Net Metering Rules

Sabrina Lopez
December 9, 2015
2 min read

Solar power is quickly becoming the best energy investment in the new century, especially for many Arizona residents who can earn solar energy credits from their utility provider. Net metering allows residential and commercial customers who generate their electricity from solar power to feed electricity they do not use back into the grid. Most Arizona utilities credit this excess energy and allow their solar customers to use these credits during the spring and summer months.

Since saving up enough energy credits to cover Arizona’s hottest seasons can take several months, it’s ideal to install your solar energy system early—such as in the fall or winter. This timeframe can also have added benefits since solar providers and utilities are generally less busy in the fall and winter, which translates into faster installation times.

Here are a few additional considerations for Arizona’s net metering rules: 

1. Start early to take control of your summer electric bill: Solar is the most viable way for utility customers to generate their electricity cleanly and affordably. During the fall and winter months, most Arizona solar customers produce more electricity than they consume. Net metering allows these customers to exchange this excess power for energy credits. As such, installing solar in the fall or winter rather than waiting until spring is the best way to ensure you’ve banked sufficient credits to keep your power bills low or non-existent when it’s hot.

2. Different utilities have different net metering rules: With few exceptions, most Arizona utilities have some net metering program, but the details of each program differ dramatically. For example, some utilities credit their customers month-to-month, while others deliver credits in a lump sum at the end of the year. Our solar experts can help explain the programs available to you, and optimize your system and rate plan accordingly. 

3. Lock in today before it’s gone: Unfortunately, some utilities perceive net metering as lost revenue. Countless studies show that net metering creates a smoother demand curve for electricity and allows utilities to manage their peak loads better. Even so, many utilities are considering changing or eliminating their net metering programs. So, if you’ve been considering solar and would like to take advantage of today’s more favorable net metering rules, now is the time to lock in your local utility contract. 

If you want to take advantage of a great time to switch to solar and start building up your energy credits, we invite you to request a free assessment and estimate. You can also download our exclusive solar guide that will help you understand some of the most important considerations when switching to clean solar energy.