Could mandatory new home solar soon happen in Arizona?

May 14, 2018, 4:54 AM | Updated: May 15, 2018, 12:35 pm
(AP Photo)...
(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — Is mandatory solar coming to Arizona homes? One group said it could be possible – but was not likely to happen any time soon.

The idea of mandatory solar is not a new one: As of Wednesday, all new California homes built after Jan. 1, 2020, must have solar panels on the structure or nearby.

Bret Fanshaw, who heads the “Go Solar” campaign for Environment Arizona, said that decision was not a quick or easy one.

“It was a multi-year process with many stakeholder groups, including the building associations and others,” he said.

On the other hand, he said, California has committed to increasing its renewable-energy use to 50 percent by 2030. So, in the end, the decision made sense for that state.

But as for Arizona, Fenshaw said, the transition to clean energy would likely be just as long.

“Certainly, in Arizona, we have enough sunshine to take advantage of and transition to clean energy,” he said.

“We’ve been…encouraging (the Arizona Corporation Commission) to take all of the the benefits and values that rooftop solar provides to the electricity grid – and to society – into account when figuring out how to charge solar users.”

Last August, APS changed its “net metering” formula for solar users. The old one gave those users a full retail credit for each kilowatt-hour of surplus power they sent to the grid. The new APS solar credit is 12.9 cents per kilowatt hour. The utility said solar users were not contributing enough to maintain the electricity grid.

For SRP customers, any excess energy they produce is credited on their current bills, based on the energy’s retail price during the time it was generated. For example, if a customer generated excess energy during the morning, they would get a credit on their current bill at retail morning rates.

When asked why not allow new-home builders the choice of how to power their homes, Fanshaw said California is allowing some exceptions to the new requirement depending on the situation.

“For example…there are opportunities to do a shared or a community solar system,” he said.

As for added home-construction cost, “the commission…found that while adding solar would cost about $40 more per month on average, the the savings that customers would see because of solar…would be about $80 per month.”

The bottom line, Fanshaw said, is that California’s new rule will help many people.

“We believe it’s a huge win for the environment,” he said, “(It) will reduce pollution that contributes to global warming; improve air quality and public health.”

As for Arizona, “I don’t even know…if the Corporation Commission has the authority to to make this kind of decision in Arizona,” he said. “I think it is something that that a lot of stakeholders will have to look at.”

Arizona News

(Pexels Photo)...
Associated Press

Arizona couple who fought with cops after mask request sentenced

A Yuma couple has been sentenced to time behind bars on convictions stemming from a 2020 incident in which they fought with police after coughing on Walmart employees who asked them to wear masks during early months of the pandemic.
1 day ago
(Photo from

Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel out of rehab, plans to return to work

Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel is out of rehab with plans to return to work on Monday.
1 day ago
(Photo from Denny Riccelli)...

Tolleson high school teacher wins Gaydos and Chad’s teacher tribute

A high school teacher in Tolleson has been named KTAR News 92.3 FM's Gaydos and Chad Show's Pay Tribute to a teacher winner for August, presented by Your Valley Toyota Dealers.
1 day ago
(Arizona Department of Transportation Photo)...
Kevin Stone

US 60 east of metro Phoenix reopens with new Pinto Creek bridge in place

After a nearly weeklong closure in both directions, U.S. 60 east of metro Phoenix reopened Friday with a shiny new bridge in place.
1 day ago
(Google Maps Photo)...

2 Mesa high school students charged in separate threat incidents

Two high school students in Mesa were charged after making threats against their separate campuses Friday, police said.
1 day ago
Luis Mauricio Delgadillo Garcia (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)...

Phoenix police arrest suspect in killing of tow truck driver

A suspect has been arrested in the killing of a tow truck driver in west Phoenix earlier this month, authorities said Friday.
1 day ago
Could mandatory new home solar soon happen in Arizona?