- An Arizona federal District Court overrode the Salt River Project (SRP) request to prevent SolarCity’s legal challenge to the public utility's new demand charge for solar owners, ruling the lawsuit could move forward. SolarCity is seeking an injunction against the costs imposed earlier this year that the solar company says has caused a 50-95% drop in the local solar market.
- In granting SolarCity the right to sue over these allegations, the court rejected its request to pursue monetary compensation and non-monetary relief. SolarCity maintains the imposition of fees only on solar owners is an illegal and anti-competitive abuse of the utility’s monopoly power.
- The new SRP residential rate structure for new PV owners includes a $9.25 per kW per month demand charge for a customer's highest period of usage and reduced the net energy metering credit from the retail rate of approximately $0.09 per kWh to $0.05 per kWh.
The Salt River Project's move this February to restructure rates for rooftop solar users was part of the latest round of arguments over how to address solar use on the grid. After SRP's move to add a new demand charge for solar owners, Arizona Public Service Co. filed a request to raise fixed charges for rooftop solar users.
SRP said its typical customer who went to solar had an average bill of about $170 per month before installation and, under the old price structure, that average bill dropped to about $70 per month with solar.
If a new solar owner matches the usage profile of existing solar owners and continues to use peak period electricity the same way, the utility calculated that the monthly $170 will drop only to $120 under the new price structure.
The new SRP residential rate structure for new PV owners included a monthly $9.25 per kW demand charge for a customer's highest period of usage and reduced the net energy metering credit from the retail rate of approximately $0.09/kWh to $0.05/kWh
SRP's experience with time-of-day pricing plans shows customers do respond to price signals and solar owners who do so could save more than $100 per month, the utility claims.
A GTM research analysis found a hypothetical SRP demand charge of around $32 for residential customers with a 4 kW solar system results in solar-plus-storage economics being superior to purchased or leased solar-only economics.