Arizona introduces monthly grid fee for solar homes
Nov 15, 2013 - The Arizona Corporation Commission yesterday approved a USD-0.70 (EUR 0.52) monthly fee per kW of installed home solar capacity in an attempt to control costs to non-solar utility customers under the net metering scheme.
The charge, adopted in a 3-to-2 vote, will apply to all solar systems that submit applications with local power utility APS after December 31. Existing solar systems and those who have filed applications in the current year will not be paying the fee.
The net metering programme is a mechanism that allows owners of rooftop solar systems to get compensations for the power they feed to the grid. The Arizona Corporation Commission said that this scheme has resulted in a cost shift so non-solar utility customers are paying higher rates to cover the expenses related to the maintaining of the grid. The fee for new solar systems, which is part of a bigger reform in the state’s net metering policy, is intended to at least in part limit the impact of that cost shift on non-solar customers. The charge will not boost APS revenue.
According to the commission’s calculations, the fee will translate into a charge of some USD-4.90 per month to be paid by a typical future rooftop solar customer for using the power grid. The fee will be in force until 2015, when the scheme will be revised again.