Rooftop solar has been taking a beating
At the Residential Utility Consumer Office’s workshop last week there was talk of seriously impairing rooftop solar in Arizona. The program where residents with solar panels sell power back to the utility at the same rate they bought it, called ‘net metering,’ has been threatened by APS and other Arizona utilities.
The argument being made is that the program is a cross-subsidy, that those who haven’t put solar panels on their roofs are paying for those who have. A long-term analysis of the program tells a different tale. A recent study from Crossborder Energy showed that every dollar of investment in rooftop solar yields $1.50 in benefits for APS ratepayers. It turns out these solar roofs are actually subsidizing the rest of us!
Rooftop solar panels provide retail power to the grid, meaning it’s only fair that customers be credited at a retail rate. Net metering provides fair compensation to rooftop solar energy providers, and that solar energy provides a net benefit for the community. Clearly, net metering is a win-win and should be continued.