Phoenix Ranks Third For Solar Panel Installations

April 10, 2014

(KJZZ file photo)
Under the proposal, APS would rent a customer's roof and pay for the the installation and upkeep of a 6 megawatt-solar panel system, on average, for 20 years.

Phoenix is third in the country for solar panel installations. That’s based on numbers of rooftop panels installed in that year within city limits.

The Environment Arizona report ranks Los Angeles first, followed by San Diego. In total, five California cities are in the top 20. Environment Arizona’s Bret Fanshaw said that may be attributed to California’s solar policies and incentives. Phoenix drops to sixth for solar energy per person, but Fanshaw said that is because of the city’s population.

“When you divide up the number of solar, that’s why you see us falling from third in the amount of total solar to sixth per capita,” said Fanshaw.

Honolulu, San Jose, Wilmington, San Diego and Indianapolis are the five cities ahead of Phoenix respectively.

It is important to note this report is based on data to date through 2013, which is before the Arizona Corporation Commission added a monthly fee to utility bills for APS solar customers. The new charges went into effect in the first of this year. APS is one of the two Phoenix utility companies and applications for them to install panels are down this year.

APS spokesperson Jenna Shaver said, “The new rules related to rooftop solar have only been in effect for a few months. So it’s too early to draw any responsible conclusions about what the pace of installations in this quarter means,”

Based on numbers from APS, solar panel applications are down 40 percent in the first quarter of 2014 as compared to the same time last year. SRP, the Valley’s other major utility company reports no change in applications this year.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been modified to reflect the data was inclusive of all solar panel installations through 2013.

Updated on 4/11/14 at 9:37 a.m.