Arizona Public Service proposed a rooftop solar program for homeowners back in 2014. After a lengthy approval process, they were approved to install solar on 1,500 low income homes half of the original 3,000 proposed .
At face value it seemed to be a step in the right direction. It will allow homeowners in low income area to see a reduction of their utility bill while increasing the renewable energy efforts. When you delve deeper into the plan, it benefits the environment but benefits for homeowners are sparse.
APS’s plan to outfit low income home with utility owned solar panels increasing their energy production by about 10 megawatts. APS said that the program would give homeowners the opportunity to go solar and allow the utility company the ability to study the potential operational advantages of installing solar with advanced inverters.
National Solar companies and solar advocates engage in the fierce policy battle. APS striking first with ads against solar and other solar backed organizations with ads in opposition. Once you filter through all the propaganda on both sides, the facts are homeowner will receive a $30 monthly credit from APS for twenty years. The system has to be wired into the homeowners internet connection. Under the pretense of research they are only going after south and west facing roof tops.
Let’s break this down. First, the $30 monthly credit will become obsolete in less than 10 years with standard rate increases. Secondly, the amount of energy that the average home will produce on a daily basis will be much more than the credit homeowners will be giving. Also, APS will be piggy backing of homeowners internet service because a reliable cellular controller has not been developed.
When all of this is unpacked, APS is pretty much the relative who overstayed their welcome. APS wants to take up all of a homeowner’s roof space, use the internet and compensate them a mere penance for being a freeloader. The only way this can get off the ground is for APS to target low income families.
When this program was introduced two years ago it sounded pretty good, but with every passing year PV solar sales go up and the cost of products/installation go down and with APS rate increase requests the program has fewer and fewer benefits. The only people who would take advantage of this program will be disenfranchised.