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  • APS - Arizona Public Service Rate Plans

    I am looking to do a DIY grid tied system in the Phoenix area and a bit confused with how to calculate my cost/payback analysis.

    It is my understanding that I need to get an application in before July 1st of this year to take advantage of soon to be frozen rate plans. My home consumed 776 kWh in the last year and I am on a "Standard Rate" service plan with no TOU.

    What are the different rate plan options for APS customers in terms of grid tied systems? Should I rush to get my application in before July 1st?

  • #2
    Originally posted by photolimo View Post
    My home consumed 776 kWh in the last year and I am on a "Standard Rate" service plan with no TOU.
    Forgive me for putting it this way, but do you live in a grass hut with a single light bulb? 776 Kwh a year is just not likely or even a month in Phoenix. The national average monthly usage is 1100 Kwh in a month, and that is low because of the north where they do not use much in the way of air conditioning. In Phoenix I would expect 1500 to 2500 Kwh in a month or 24,000 Kwh/year.

    Something is not right with your numbers unless you live in a grass hut on an Indian Reservation with a light bulb. What does you monthly aver bill come to? $100, $150, $200 or more per month. At $776 Kwh/year would mean you only use roughly 65 Kwh per month or less than $10/month. About what a single 100 watt light bulb would use in a month if left on all day and night.
    MSEE, PE

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    • #3
      Ha, not sure how I messed that up. Obviously that is not right. That is the average monthly. Total for last year was 9,317 kWh which cost us $1495.

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      • #4
        I'm in the area but I am grandfathered with SRP so I don't know the latest APS plans or strategies. Since the AZ Corp commission voted to gut net metering for all RE in Arizona, I would not even bother with going solar, even if you get in before the deadline. The payback time is far too long in my opinion. You are better off to reduce your energy use with reasonable steps like attic insulation, shade screens, efficient appliances, etc. Invest what you would have spent on solar in a retirement account and you'll come out ahead.
        Dave W. Gilbert AZ
        6.63kW grid-tie owner

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        • #5
          Originally posted by azdave View Post
          I'm in the area but I am grandfathered with SRP so I don't know the latest APS plans or strategies. Since the AZ Corp commission voted to gut net metering for all RE in Arizona, I would not even bother with going solar, even if you get in before the deadline. The payback time is far too long in my opinion. You are better off to reduce your energy use with reasonable steps like attic insulation, shade screens, efficient appliances, etc. Invest what you would have spent on solar in a retirement account and you'll come out ahead.
          Sad to say that even in AZ installing a home solar pv system seems to no longer be a way to save money like it use to. Sorry to hear it.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by SunEagle View Post

            Sad to say that even in AZ installing a home solar pv system seems to no longer be a way to save money like it use to. Sorry to hear it.
            I'm about the biggest fan of renewable energy I know of, but If PV can't stand on its own and cut the cost effective mustard after something like 5-10 years of what are, in a lot of ways, pretty substantial gov. subsidies and net metering as it's usually been promulgated, maybe it's not a useful technology in that it seems to not be cost effective in the eyes of potential users.

            Seems like more work on how the usefulness of PV to society is viewed/determined needs to be done.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post

              I'm about the biggest fan of renewable energy I know of, but If PV can't stand on its own and cut the cost effective mustard after something like 5-10 years of what are, in a lot of ways, pretty substantial gov. subsidies and net metering as it's usually been promulgated, maybe it's not a useful technology in that it seems to not be cost effective in the eyes of potential users.

              Seems like more work on how the usefulness of PV to society is viewed/determined needs to be done.
              I agree. Solar PV might make sense on a Utility scale generating system which can bring the cost way down but when you figure in today's installed cost per watt for a home or small commercial system, without Net metering it does not make sense as a financial investment choice.

              IMO let the deep pockets build the things if they want just as long as my lights stay on 24/7/365 without draining my bank account.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by SunEagle View Post

                I agree. Solar PV might make sense on a Utility scale generating system which can bring the cost way down but when you figure in today's installed cost per watt for a home or small commercial system, without Net metering it does not make sense as a financial investment choice.

                IMO let the deep pockets build the things if they want just as long as my lights stay on 24/7/365 without draining my bank account.
                A probably rhetorical question in my mind, made so by the low probability of getting a straight, much less correct answer might be :

                How much does all the roof top solar in SDG & E's service territory reduce the per share dividend paid to Sempra Energy's (SDG & E's parent co.) stock holders in any year, both in $$ ( or pennies) per share and n terms of % of the total dividend paid. Just wonderin'.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by photolimo View Post
                  I am looking to do a DIY grid tied system in the Phoenix area and a bit confused with how to calculate my cost/payback analysis.

                  It is my understanding that I need to get an application in before July 1st of this year to take advantage of soon to be frozen rate plans. My home consumed 776 kWh in the last year and I am on a "Standard Rate" service plan with no TOU.

                  What are the different rate plan options for APS customers in terms of grid tied systems? Should I rush to get my application in before July 1st?
                  I can't speak for APS/Phoenix, but down in Tucson TEP is grandfathering systems into net-metering 1.0 (for 20 years) if you can get your application submitted prior to the 2017 rate plans taking effect. It sounds like APS is offering something similar.

                  As far as standard rate vs. TOU, stick with standard rate if you can. With TOU, the credits you generate during the day won't do you any good at night.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by azdave View Post
                    I'm in the area but I am grandfathered with SRP so I don't know the latest APS plans or strategies. Since the AZ Corp commission voted to gut net metering for all RE in Arizona, I would not even bother with going solar, even if you get in before the deadline. The payback time is far too long in my opinion. You are better off to reduce your energy use with reasonable steps like attic insulation, shade screens, efficient appliances, etc. Invest what you would have spent on solar in a retirement account and you'll come out ahead.
                    Ditto +1. Solar in AZ is history. Spend your money on upgrades. You get four perks; solar cannot do: ROI, payback, comfort, and equity. The Solar Train in AZ has already left the station. Many more states are departing.
                    Last edited by Sunking; 03-21-2017, 05:25 PM.
                    MSEE, PE

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sunking View Post

                      Ditto +1. Solar in AZ is history. Spend your money on upgrades. You get four perks; solar cannot do: ROI, payback, comfort, and equity. The Solar Train in AZ has already left the station. Many more states are departing.
                      Or, spend some on conservation retrofits. Things usually don't look too much different afterwards - no black monolith eyesore on your roof.

                      And, and perhaps best of all, with conservation, if/when, for example, you reduce your electric bill by 50% from conservation, you won't have folks accusing you of taking money from poor people's pockets the way they sometimes do when you have a 50 % bill reduction from PV. Lots of hidden perks in conservation. Just sayin'.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sunking View Post

                        Ditto +1. Solar in AZ is history. Spend your money on upgrades. You get four perks; solar cannot do: ROI, payback, comfort, and equity. The Solar Train in AZ has already left the station. Many more states are departing.
                        I have already done all the upgrades I can on my home. I am looking to do a DIY install which keeps the cost to me very low. If I can get on the net metering plan APS currently has until July 1st 2017 then it is my understanding that I can pay off my install in about 3 years. If anyone has APS rate plan experience that would be great input.

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                        • #13
                          Forgive my ignorance in regards to this thread. If my ROI is approximately eight years, how exactly is solar not a wise money move? Yes, I understand I could have invested that $15,000 in the stock market (or elsewhere). But that of course assumes a return on my money in the market. Two things I can almost guarantee is my POCO not lowering rates, and my power bill being negligible for 20ish years.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Steve C View Post
                            Forgive my ignorance in regards to this thread. If my ROI is approximately eight years, how exactly is solar not a wise money move? Yes, I understand I could have invested that $15,000 in the stock market (or elsewhere). But that of course assumes a return on my money in the market. Two things I can almost guarantee is my POCO not lowering rates, and my power bill being negligible for 20ish years.
                            It comes down to how long you plan on staying in the home with the solar pv system. I have been doing the calculations for the last 5 years and since I plan on moving in the next year there hasn't been any ROI quick enough for me that would have worked.

                            Also I have been tracking my POCO electric charges since 2008 and while they have gone up some years they have gone down other. Right now I am about 1 1/2% higher then I was 8 years ago and at times have been as much as 3% lower. So it will be hard to really calculate what I will be paying for electric 10 years from now.

                            There is no question that for some solar pv with or without Net metering has an ROI. For each person the payback number that makes sense is different.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Steve C View Post
                              Two things I can almost guarantee is my POCO not lowering rates, and my power bill being negligible for 20ish years.
                              Do not count on either being true. In TX rates have gone down each year for the last 10 years. Down to 7-cents and going lower. Now that Chump pulled the plug on the Employment Prevention Agency, rates are expected to go down nation wide. Lastly you can cash out on any investment, and if you are not an idiot will always have a positive return. Utilities are fighting back and solar users wil no longer have entitlements paid by rate payers. So it is a good bet your rate will go up. Its all a gamble.

                              MSEE, PE

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