Rooftop Solar Generates $34 Million A Year for APS. APS’ Customers – Not Shareholders – Should Reap This Benefit
(SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) A new study shows that rooftop solar and net metering generate a windfall for Arizona Public Service (APS). Rooftop solar generation provides APS with $34 million in benefits each year.
TUSK (Tell Utilities Solar won’t be Killed) is calling on APS to give back the windfall it has made from rooftop solar energy. $34 million a year should be returned to APS customers in the form of lower rates, not put into the pockets of a giant monopoly and its shareholders.
TUSK Chairman Barry Goldwater Jr. said, “In free enterprise, those who make the investment should reap the rewards. APS has not invested in private rooftop solar. Rather, the utility has been trying to kill the industry to limit competition. And for that, they deserve no reward.”
Net metering allows people who invest in rooftop solar to receive fair credit for the power they send back to the grid. It is a simple policy – used in 43 states today – that works very much like rollover minutes on a cell phone bill. Solar is far and away the most popular source of energy in the eyes of Arizonans, but to APS, rooftop solar has become a competitive threat to its monopoly. By working to get the Corporation Commission to change net metering rules, APS is attempting to kill the thriving independent rooftop solar market in Arizona in order to protect its monopoly interests and overwhelming profits.
Rooftop solar is a free market enterprise built by the private investments of homeowners and businesses that install solar panels on their roofs. School districts have also invested in rooftop solar. Through these investments, schools are saving taxpayers millions of dollars while home and business owners are saving money on their electricity bills.
The study showing that solar provides a $34 million benefit to non-solar customers was commissioned by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and authored by Crossborder Energy. Using APS and energy market data, the study found that in addition to providing benefits to solar adopters, like control and savings, rooftop solar provides benefits all APS customers. For each dollar of cost, rooftop solar generates $1.54 in benefits to all APS customers.
There are several ways that rooftop solar benefits all APS customers. First, rooftop solar enables APS to spend less money on purchasing power and building expensive conventional power plants. Second, APS can also avoid or delay investments in transmission and distribution infrastructure, because electricity is being generated at the same place it is consumed. In addition, rooftop solar saves APS money on ancillary service costs, capacity reserve costs, avoided renewables costs, and by providing environmental benefits, like lower air pollution emissions and less water use. To learn more about the study and see the full results, click here.
To learn more about T.U.S.K. visit www.dontkillsolar.com
T.U.S.K. believes that rooftop solar is similar to a charter school—it provides a competitive alternative to the monopoly. Monopoly utilities aren’t known for reducing costs or for driving business innovation, but the Arizona solar industry is. Solar companies have a track record of aggressive cost reduction in Arizona. The more people use rooftop solar, the less power they need to buy from the utilities. Energy independence for Arizonans means smaller profits for the utilities, so APS is doing everything it can to stop the spread of independent solar.