Friday, July 31, 2015

New Leasing Rules May Impact Solar Popularity in Arizona

Solar panels have successfully taken off in the U.S. mostly due to their increasing affordability. Solar used to be a hefty technology with highly expensive instruments for in-situ metrology, but nowadays the main obstacle is the nation’s utility companies.

A fight between solar panel companies on one side and utility companies on the other is currently taking place in the sunny state of Arizona, for example. There are new rules introduced in the state that offer its residents leasing instead of buying solar panels. The PV industry representatives see this move as a threat for solar panel industry because they suspect a hidden agenda coming from utility companies to slow down and eventually stop residential solar power installation.

The new leasing rules go in effect in January. The leasing company will have to provide the customers the approximate cost and yield of the panels, and will have to guarantee their efficiency for years to come because some of the contracts will be signed for twenty years. Consumers, however, will only have three days to change their minds after all the cost information is provided to them. Many other states, including Nevada, are considering to switch to the same model with extending the decision making time for up to five days.

This transition in solar power regulation has caused a lot of consumer complaints that can compromise solar panel popularity.