Plenty of people know that solar power is a great alternative to traditional energy sources.
It’s contributing to job growth and increases homeowner values. Plus, Americans want solar power! But despite this, utilities, advocates, lawmakers, and solar energy companies go round and round blaming each other, while the person who just wants to install rooftop solar suffers (see Hawaii as a prime example).
In Arizona, solar is heating up — but not in the way you’d think. According to ThinkProgress, solar users in Arizona will be subjected to a new, additional “demand charge” of about $50 per month starting in April.
This new charge will be based on user’s peak energy use, and all solar users have to pay it, regardless of the amount of solar energy they produce. This means that even if a home with residential solar panels produced enough energy to offset the amount of energy they would otherwise take from the grid, they still have to pay the utility fee.
The reason for the charge is simple. Public power utilities, like Salt River Project, want to charge for renewable energy fees in order to offset the costs for maintaining solar grid infrastructure. They believe since solar customers use the grid differently, it’s necessary to shift grid maintenance costs to customers who are using solar.
Related: Solar Panels in Arizona
“To retain the level of service our customers have come to expect from SRP, we must continue to invest in modernizing our energy grid to adapt to new technologies and that will improve reliability and allow for more customer choice,” said Chief Financial Executive Aidan McSheffrey.Continue reading
The solar industry is booming, with over 173,000 solar jobs in the U.S. And more states than ever are leading the way, with unexpected states like Georgia trumping solar production over more solar traditional states. However, the most surprising news may be that solar is taking off in politically conservative states that a decade ago may have never been seen as energy efficient leaders.Continue reading