SRP, one of the largest providers of electricity in Phoenix, AZ, announced today that it will reduce the amount of the incentive it currently pays customers who install solar panels on their roofs.
The utility has been paying $3.00/watt for residential systems. Starting on June 1, the amount of the incentive will drop to $2.70/watt, a 10% reduction.
For a typical residential solar unit of 4.5kW, buyers currently receive a price reduction of $13,500.
The same size unit will bring a $12,150 reduction under the new system, a difference of $1,350.
A cap on the size of eligible solar systems will also change on June 1. The current cap is set at systems generating 20kW. That cap will be lowered to cover systems no larger than 5kW.
SRP spokesman Scott Harelson told Fireitup that the change was needed to allow more customers to take advantage of the solar program.
The incentives were created to meet Arizona’s law requiring utilities to generate 15% of their energy from renewable sources — including solar — by the year 2025.
Asked if the reductions were at least in part because SRP has been meeting its goals moving toward the 15% level, Harelson said that “the program has been very successful, yes.”
He added that the reductions, which will continue to decline (see table below), were necessary as part of a cost-cutting effort by the utility.
SRP has nearly a million customers in the Phoenix area.
The other large utility in the Valley, APS, has a similar incentive program. Their solar remains at $3/watt — at least on their company Website. Fireitup was unable to reach a spokesperson for APS in time for this story. However, Dave Brady at PerfectPower, a local solar installation company, said in an email to Fireitup, “Normally APS and SRP do this at the same time. I wouldn’t be surprised if APS follows shortly.”
Long term program decline