APS (Arizona Public Service), the biggest utility company in Arizona, has reduced the amount they are paying customers for installing solar panels claiming that it has been too effective and is costing them too much.
Kris Mayes, chairwoman of the Arizona Corporation Commission stated that, “This is a great problem to have because it means a strong solar industry has emerged in this state and that Arizonans are showing their demand for solar.”
The Arizona Corporation Commission will vote on the proposed changes. They did intend to reduce the solar panel incentives over time but just not this quickly. “We didn’t expect in a down economy we would see such strong demand for solar,” Mayes said.
The effects of the incentives were clear last year as more homes adopted solar panels than in the previous eight years combined, and this during a brutal economic recession. Approximately 113 residential home owners apply for solar panel rebates each week.
Prior to last Wednesday, APS paid about $18,000 to each solar power using customer which equaled about half the cost of the solar panel systems being used before the inclusion of Federal tax credits which pays for 30% of the remaining cost. There is also a $1,000 state level tax credit available.
The new amount covered by APS for solar panels will now average out to about $12,900 in rebates for a 6-kilowatt solar panel system.