The Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association (AriSEIA) is a non-profit trade association representing local, national and international solar companies in the Arizona market. The group's focus is on education, professionalism and promotion of public policies that support deployment of solar technologies in Arizona.
Over 19,000 Arizona families and businesses have chosen to save money each month on their electric bills by installing a solar electric system. Today there are numerous options for going solar and the best place to start is with an AriSEIA Preferred Solar Installer (PSI).
AriSEIA Preferred Solar Installers (PSI) are Arizona's most qualified, professional, and ethical solar companies. Each Preferred Solar Installer is licensed, bonded, insured, has demonstrated technical excellence, and is committed to the highest ethical standards.
Solar water heating systems are a great and proven way to go solar, save money and help the environment at the same time. Working with an AriSEIA recognized Preferred Solar Installer (PSI) is the first step in the choosing the right system for your home or business.
December 8, 2014
In an unexpected move, one of Arizona’s largest electric utilities, SRP, announced a new rate structure that would penalize solar customers and bring solar installations to a halt in within its service territory. SRP announced Monday that it intends to apply fees up to $100 on new solar customers based on the size of their solar array and an additional charge for the array being connected to the electrical grid.
SRP management set a cutoff date of December 8, 2014 for solar customers to be “grandfathered” in to current pricing and avoid the proposed fees. However, SRP’s board of directors won't vote to approve the new pricing plan until late February, 2015.
This move “kills jobs and punishes people who want to go solar,” says Court Rich, attorney at Rose Law Group and AriSEIA board member.
The new pricing would “completely freeze the rooftop solar market in SRP’s service territory,” according to AriSEIA president Mark Holohan in a letter (pdf, Word) to SRP. Announced on December 1, SRP’s plan would impose the proposed fees on all new solar customers. Holohan characterized the fees as "discriminatory."
Addressing the utility’s leadership, Holohan’s letter to SRP states “The 600 or so solar systems being reserved in [SRP’s] service territory per month result in hundreds of sales and installation jobs. These jobs will halt entirely on Monday if you do not do something.” Solar installations create construction jobs, which have lead Arizona’s recoveries from the previous two recessions, but such the construction industry has so far not created jobs a sufficient quantity to drive the current recovery.
As recently as one month ago, SRP provided incentives for customers to go solar. “It’s an abuse of the utility’s monopoly power,” says Corey Garrison, owner of Southface Solar and AriSEIA board member, highlighting the fact that SRP is not regulated by the state’s utility watchdog agency, the Arizona Corporation Commission.
“We want to help the utilities get to their solar goals, but that’s difficult to do when they surprise us with rate changes,” says Garrison. “Solar will grind to a halt in SRP territory; it’ll just be stagnant there.”
According to SRP’s website, the not-for-profit electric utility serves just over 984,000 customers, from which it took in just under $3 billion in revenues in its most recent fiscal year, resulting in just over $210 million in earnings. Annually, it earns 3 times what it pays out to cover its debt.