As part of Consumer Energy Alliance's Solar Energy Future campaign, the organization released data from an upcoming report that provides a comprehensive quantification of solar incentives available to families, businesses and other energy users in Utah.
The report, scheduled to be released this fall, analyzes the cost for a typical solar facility in Utah along with the federal, state, and local incentives available for rooftop solar.
It found that:
- A single 3.9 kWh rooftop solar system in Utah receives $12,069 in taxpayer and ratepayer incentives, representing 89% of the actual cost of the system
- Existing incentives for residential solar photovoltaic (PV) are significant
- Third party-owned solar PV facilities receive significant incentives
- Existing incentives may change the economics of future investments in solar
- The net metering incentive shifts costs onto less-affluent customers
- The primary market for renewable energy certificates is through Utah’s electric utilities
That means in Utah, like in several other states, government, and utility-offered incentives have reduced residential customers' net costs of installing rooftop solar systems to record-low levels – so much so that total incentives are nearly equal to a solar system's total costs.
Considering these steep cost reductions, local utilities and the state Public Service Commission are re-examining the scope and methods surrounding their incentive programs and are now considering programs that rely on a more competitive marketplace to provide the economically optimal levels of rooftop solar adoption.
"As technology continues to advance, solar energy is becoming an even more incredibly powerful and cost-competitive technology that has the potential to change the face of American energy, both today and in the future," David Holt, President of CEA, said. "Solar brings with it tremendous benefits for families and businesses across the country – including those in Utah. Its deployment has been truly remarkable."
Holt added: "As solar energy continues to progress as a larger slice of America's all-of-the-above energy pie, we hope that CEA's data will help yield pro-solar, pro-grid and pro-consumer policies in Utah and ensure the spread of solar technology, the continued efficiency of a robust electric grid and increased access to clean, renewable, affordable and reliable energy sources."
These findings echo those revealed in an analysis done last year by CEA, called, "Incentivizing Solar Energy: An In-Depth Analysis of U.S. Solar Incentives." That report studied the federal, state, and local incentives available for rooftop solar photovoltaic in more than a dozen states and found that nationwide, government and utility-offered incentives reduced residential customers' net costs of installing rooftop solar systems to record-low levels.
To review the full results of that analysis and a copy of that report, please visit solarenergyfuture.org.