Process of Going Solar in APS

When going solar with Arizona Public Service (APS) solar program, a homeowner can expect the following steps to take place which are primarily handled by the installer:

  1. Interconnection Application: This document along with a site plan, electrical three-line diagram and authorization form are submitted electronically to APS
  2. Interconnection Approval: APS reviews the documents submitted and provides an approval to proceed with the installation. APS may request revisions which are handled by the installer.
  3. Final Documents: Once the system is installed, the installer provides APS with the associated documents
  4. APS Inspection: After receiving Final Documents, APS schedules an inspection to make sure the system is per the approved plans. There, the Department will install an electric meter that enables the homeowner to participate in the Net Billing Program.
  5. Permission to Operate (PTO): APS will provide the “green light” for the system to be turned on by informing the homeowner at their residence and by sending an email acknowledging that PTO has been granted.

APS Solar Program

Once a homeowner goes solar, they must choose between two solar-specific rate plans:

These Rate Plans have Seasonal Energy Rates with Winter defined between November through April, and Summer as May through October. Usage charges are higher in the summer.Moreover, both rate plans have three time-of-use segments:

  • On-Peak: Monday – Friday, 4pm – 7pm, with the highest usage charges
  • Off-Peak: Saturday, Sunday and Certain Holidays, with mid-range usage charges
  • Super Off-Peak: Winter months only, Monday – Friday, 10am – 3pm, with the lowest usage charges.

Plan Comparison

Seasonal Energy Rates (kWh)Time of Use ($)Time of Use with Demand Charge ($)
Summer On-Peak 0.2978 0.12414
Summer Off-Peak0.107890.05276
Winter On-Peak0.281850.08711
Winter Off-Peak0.10790.05267
Super Off-Peak0.031660.03166
Summer Demand Charge (Per kW)16.875
Winter Demand Charge (Per kW)11.845
APS Seasonal Rate Comparison

Understanding Demand Charges

These charges represent the cumulative amount of energy (kW) a home consumes at any given moment, distinct from kilowatt-hours (kWh), which measures the electricity usage over time. The “demand” can fluctuate based on what electrical appliances are running in a home including, but not limited to, clothes dryer, clothes washer, dishwasher, electric oven, electric stove, freezer, microwave, refrigerator, air conditioner, computers, televisions, lights, electric water heaters, pool pumps and EV chargers.

APS will measure your demand charge based on the highest hour of usage during on-peak hours for that month. You can estimate your usage and demand with the APS Energy Estimator to understand your energy costs after going solar. To prevent excessive demand charges, a homeowner can implement a Demand Manager, also known as a Load Controller. This device connects to large appliances in the home to limit demand by turning off other appliances when the demand limit setting is reached.

Choosing the Right APS Time of Use Plan

For customers to benefit from solar energy in APS they must adjust their habits to avoid using large electric appliances during On-Peak hours. If customers are less inclined to manage their large electric appliances during these times, we do not recommend choosing the Time of Use plan with Demand Charges due to the potential for incurring significant expenses. However, if customers aim to maximize their savings, they can achieve greater opportunities for saving through the Time of Use plan with Demand Charges. To accomplish this more effectively, customers can utilize a Demand Manager as mentioned earlier. Lastly, always remember that all plans include basic service charges as well as adjustors, taxes and fees.

Understanding the APS Buy Back / Solar Export Rate

A home or a battery storage system consumes or stores any solar energy that it produces, while the surplus is sent back to the grid. APS sells this energy to other customers and credits the homeowner for sending this power to the grid known as the “buy back rate” or “solar export rate.” During the application process, the homeowner can choose between either of the two options noted below and can change them at any time.

  • Resource Comparison Proxy Export Rate (RCP): Homeowners that purchase their solar panel system before September 1 will lock in the current buy back rate for a 10-year period. After the 10-year period, the APS Buy Back rate will be based on the rate at that time. Based on the current rate from APS, until August 31, 2024, APS is crediting customers $0.07619 per kWh. We will credit any bill amount exceeding the Homeowner’s monthly bill on the next month or subsequent bills as required. After the December bill, a homeowner may request a check for any outstanding credits for the prior year; however, if the outstanding credits exceed $25, APS will automatically issue a check to the homeowner. Otherwise, the bill credits will carry forward to the following year. During the 10-year rate lock term, homeowners must limit system size increases to no more than 10% or 1kW (whichever is greater) to remain eligible for the current buy back rate.
  • Renewable Energy Net Billing (EPR-2): The credit amount depends on on-peak and off-peak purchase rates in Summer and Winter Seasons.

To learn more about the best Solar Rate Plan or Buy Back Rate option, reach out to APS.

Arizona Public Service Company
400 N 5th St
Phoenix, AZ 85004

APS Phone Number in Phoenix, AZ: (602) 371-7171

APS Email Address: aps@aps.com

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