It’s hard to miss the news. After months of ACC (Arizona Corporation Commission) hearings, TEP (Tucson Electric Power) has scrapped its solar net metering program for a new solar export program. This move was taken in mid-September of 2018.
What isn’t so clear though, is how this move affects homeowners looking at going solar and customers who currently have solar panels installed on their houses.
First, the decision grandfathers anyone who currently has solar panels installed or anyone who has their interconnection application approved by TEP into the net metering program that they signed up for a period of 20 years. Feel free to call us at (520) 858-0220 if you have any questions regarding which TEP program you are interconnected under.
Next, it is best to understand the difference between net metering plans and net export plans.
On a net metering plan, any excess electricity that is produced is sent back onto the grid and the homeowner is credited for the extra electricity to be used at a later date/time. 1 kwh is credited for every 1 kwh sent back onto the grid.
On a net export plan, any excess electricity that is produced is sent back onto the grid and the homeowner is credited a set dollar amount for the electricity, credited to their bill, which they may use for electricity at a later date/time. TEP credits homeowners 9.64 cents for every kwh sent back onto the grid.
TRICO currently operates under a net export rate plan. We have been a leader in developing solar programs for TRICO and currently have hundreds of happy TRICO solar customers.
Any homeowners currently looking into solar panels will be interconnected to the new net export rate plan.
We currently have solar programs based on TEP’s new net export guidelines that will save you as much as our net metering programs have saved customers in the past.
The most important thing to understand is that these are just solar billing methods, they don’t necessarily mean your savings will be any better or worse under a certain rate plan. It is best to consult with one of our local solar energy experts to determine what your actual savings would be.