More Arizona Public Service (APS) residential customers applied to connect new rooftop solar systems to the utility's grid in the first quarter of 2015 than in any other first quarter on record, the company announced last week. This year, APS received more than 2,300 applications from January through March, more than double the number of applications received during the same period last year.
In 2014, nearly 7,800 customers installed rooftop solar on their homes, a 10% increase over the 7,044 solar customers APS connected to its grid in 2013. In the past 12 months, APS has received over 9,400 solar applications, the highest number for any 12 month period in the company’s history.
“Solar clearly continues to be a popular energy choice for our customers across Arizona,” said Marc Romito, APS manager for renewable energy. “Our job, on behalf of our customers, is to effectively integrate this energy into our system and to foster an environment in which rooftop solar can continue to flourish.”
In its U.S. Solar Market Insight report for 2014 published last month, GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association, an industry trade group, found that “Arizona’s residential market grew year-over-year by more than 25% for the fourth consecutive quarter. This growth has come in spite of a new monthly net metering fee of $0.70/kW/month, which took effect for residential customers in Arizona Public Service (APS) territory who submitted PV interconnection applications on or after January 1, 2014.”
APS applications from third-party solar installers have also increased in 2015. Combined applications for two companies in particular – SolarCity and Sunrun – increased by 70% in the first quarter of 2015 over the first quarter of 2014.
“We respect the choices our customers are making each day about how they want to use solar energy and other renewables,” Romito said. “The high level of activity we are witnessing reinforces our commitment to modernizing our grid and updating our pricing structures to give customers the platforms they need to support the different types of energy they want.”