What the heck is APS grandfathering anyway?

by Aimee on May 4, 2017

Post #15 – What the heck is APS grandfathering anyway?

Have you ever heard the expression, “It’s all Greek to me?” That’s a bit how we’ve been feeling about the Arizona Public Service (APS) grandfathering clauses impacting solar customers. Let’s start with the Wikipedia definition of grandfathering:

“A grandfather clause (or grandfather policy) is a provision in which an old rule continues to apply to some existing situations while a new rule will apply to all future cases. Those exempt from the new rule are said to have grandfather rights or acquired rights, or to have been grandfathered in. Frequently, the exemption is limited; it may extend for a set time, or it may be lost under certain circumstances.”

The proposed APS rate case now before the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) could have some big impacts to your monthly electric bill if you aren’t aware of the stipulations of the APS grandfathering clause. We’ve contacted APS directly to further clarify some the stipulations. Check out the explanations in our chart below.

My current scenario

What you should know about the
APS grandfathering clause

I am a current APS solar customer who already has an installed solar electric system on my home
  • You will be “grandfathered into” (or allowed to keep):
  1. Your existing net metering plan (approximately $.029 per kilowatt-hour of electricity credited for power you send to the grid) for 20 years from your connection date to the grid.
  2. The Legacy EPR-6 rate plan, for 20 years from the date you were connected to the grid.
  • After July 1,2017, you may not remove your solar panel system from the original installed property and relocate it to a new home, or you will lose your APS grandfathering.
I am a current APS solar customer who already has an installed solar electric system on my home and want to expand my solar system
  • Be aware that, expanding your existing solar panel system (even by adding a few solar panels), after July 1st, would void the APS grandfathering clause, and you’d then be subject to whatever net metering rate is in place at the time your expansion is connected to the grid.
  • You may not be allowed remain on the Legacy EPR-6 rate plan,
  • There is an option to expand your solar panel system without penalty, IF you apply to APS to expand prior to July 1, 2017 if you follow the 4 steps listed in the third scenario below.
I am a current APS customer who is thinking about installing a solar electric system on my home
  • It’s critical you apply to APS to connect to their grid before July 1, 2017 in order to take advantage of the grandfathered EPR-6 rate plan and the current net-metering payment rate. To do this you must:
  1. contact a solar installer,
  2. sign a contract with the installer,
  3. apply to APS for interconnection before July 1st (Black Platinum Solar will do this for you) and,
  4. have the system installed and approved by your county or city Authority within 180 days after July 1, 2017 (before December 28, 2017).
  • If you apply to APS to install solar after July 1, 2017 you will be grandfathered into the (unknown) net metering rate that is in place when your system connects to the grid and the grandfathering term will only be for 10 years, not 20. NOTE: The proposed net metering could be reduced as time goes on, to a point where the payment for net metering would completely disappear.

Another modification to your bill that may change after the rate case is decided is how APS charges their current solar customers a base Solar Fee of $.70/kw of system installed (i.e. if you own a 10kw solar system, then the fee you’re billed is $7.00/month), APS has proposed in their rate case that this fee become a flat fee of $25/month.

Are you interested in installing solar to lock in the more favorable rates?

Prospective APS solar customers interested in installing solar must provide Black Platinum Solar & Electric with your signed quote and contract, and deposit by June 16, 2017 in order to allow us time to prepare and complete all required documents and submit those with your APS Application before the July 1st deadline. NOTE: Your APS solar interconnection application will not be considered valid unless an “executed” (signed/dated) installation contract is uploaded to the application after it is completed on/before July 1, 2017.

The time to Go Solar is now! Call 623-434-3340 today for a free estimate on a photovoltaic system. Or click on our Contact Us tab at the top of this page to fill in a Contact form.

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