New Study Finds All Arizonans Benefit From Rooftop Solar

solarpanels_feature*750NEWS RELEASE

Non-Solar Ratepayers And Utilities Benefit From Rooftop Solar

(Editor’s note: News releases are published as submitted, with no editing unless they contain factual errors.)

(PHOENIX) A new study confirms that rooftop solar power is not only a benefit to those who have it on their roofs, but also to customers who don’t use solar and to the utility companies themselves.

The study, by nationally-recognized energy consultancy Crossborder Energy, found that Distributed Solar Generation (the industry term for rooftop solar) is a cost-effective resource for Arizona Public Service because it reduces the need to build additional electrical generating facilities.

The study also finds a net benefit for non-solar customers because utilities will spend less on power plants and other infrastructure as rooftop solar customers reduce demand on utility energy sources and costly infrastructure needs.

Crossborder’s study also concludes that utilities would benefit if they encouraged solar growth, and utilities will suffer in the long run if they continue to undermine rooftop solar power. It also found that solar would suffer greatly if demand charges were implemented, as is being proposed in the Unisource rate case.

Instead of charging customers for the total electricity they use, demand charges bill customers based on the highest use of electricity measured once an hour during peak hours (2-8pm) over the entire month. If Unisource is successful in its quest for demand charges on residential customers, other utilities such as Arizona Public Service and Tucson Electric Power will follow suit. APS has already hinted at a demand charge proposal in its upcoming rate case.

The financial benefits of solar are in addition to its environmental positives, which include reduced carbon emissions and reduced water use. In our desert state, reducing water usage is crucial.

The study’s author, Tom Beach, has actively participated in many major energy policy debates since 1989, including the restructuring of California ’s gas and electric industries, renewable energy policy development, a wide range of issues concerning California’s large independent power community, the Nevada PUC’s solar study stakeholder process, and more.  From 1981 through 1989, Beach served on Staff at the California Public Utilities Commission.

Media seeking a copy of the study can contact Mike Scerbo at

TASC advocates for maintaining successful distributed solar energy policies, such as retail net metering, throughout the United States. Retail net metering (NEM) provides fair credit to residents, businesses, churches, schools, and other public agencies when their solar systems export excess energy to the grid.  The organization was formed on the belief that anyone should have the option to switch from utility power to distributed solar power, and realize the financial benefits therein.  The rooftop solar market has been largely driven by Americans’ desire to assert control over their electric bills, a trend that should be encouraged.


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February 2016