13 thoughts on “CPS Energy Proposes Leased Solar Option

  1. CPS Energy is thrilled with the positive response this program is getting. We’ve had lots of folks asking how they can sign up — but we’re not quite there yet.

    Because we don’t know know yet what the final parameters of the program will be, we can’t create a sign up list.

    Once we’ve chosen a partner and negotiated a contract (this will take several weeks), we will work with our partner to publicize the details of the program and identify eligible customers.

    Here’s more information about how the process will work:
    http://newsroom.cpsenergy.com/blog/rooftop-solar-customer-interest/

    And here’s more background on the rooftop program AND our first community solar project — hope to announce that one next month: http://newsroom.cpsenergy.com/blog/rooftop-solar-expansion/#comment-268791

  2. American Standard- Thanks for providing the very informative link, I heard the solar leasing programs were misleading; lots of complaints in the news recently, mainly in AZ.

    However, if I read the article correctly, CPS is not providing a lease on the solar equipment, they are asking households to host the solar equipment in exchange for a reduction in their utility bills. CPS is leasing rooftops instead of households leasing equipment. The $$ flow to the household not away from it. It doesn’t require any upfront or long-term $$ investment from the host. They host the systems and get discounted utilities – sounds like a win (CPS) – win (households) – win (solar installers – open new market).

    Sign me up!

    • Basking is correct, CPS Energy’s program is not like a traditional lease a la SolarCity, SunRun or others, where the customer pays monthly for the system. CPS Energy customers would receive a fee or credit (again, details not finalized, see my comment above) in exchange for hosting panels on their roof at no cost to them.

  3. It is not easy to find or sign up, but current CPS Energy customers can hopefully still opt to source their power from wind energy by enrolling in the Windricity program:

    http://www.cpsenergy.com/Services/Windtricity/

    There were also plans in recent years for a similar Solartricity program to support distributed solar ownership in San Antonio via customer enrollment (but I’ve never been able to figure out how to sign up as a customer to support this):

    http://sachamber.org/cwt/External/WCPages/WCEvents/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=881

    To note, most solar lease companies – such as Tesla spin-off SolarCity – now offer solar loan programs (where installed infrastructure is eventually owned through monthly payments typically lower than local utility energy rates and including the cost of providing energy to the home or business during the loan period).

    San Antonio is on its own with its current approach to utility-owned solar leasing (drawing criticism from the industry as anti-competitive; see http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/columnist/2015/02/15/loveless-solar-power-san-antonio/23384349/) – which might be cast aside as easily as CPS Energy’s 2010 ’20-year’ commitment to Solartricity: http://www.solarcity.com/

    For comparison, readers might look at efforts in Austin over the last 15 years to increase solar energy production via distributed ownership, a community solar program and commitment to renewable energy use and production by public buildings including schools (http://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2015-01-16/pioneers-or-settlers/alternative to net-metering).

    Austin currently aims for a 35% renewable energy mix by 2020 (50% and complete divestment from coal energy by 2035) and will likely achieve this goal in 2015; El Paso has made similar commitments and strides. Meanwhile, San Antonio has aimed and continues to hope to achieve a 20% renewable energy mix by 2020, factoring in all methods planned to date (utility-scale solar under construction, pilot community solar, pilot utility-owned solar leasing and windricity).

    There are currently no goals for solar leasing or community solar or use or production of renewable energy by public buildings in San Antonio beyond the hoped for 20% renewable energy mix by 2020. New meaningful goals related to renewable energy use and production in San Antonio – including by public buildings and for distributed ownership – could change San Antonio’s long-frustrated distributed solar market and the current solar reality (of roughly only 1% of rooftops with solar panels) for the better.

  4. Unfortunately, CPS has been lately trying to nix the rebates it extends for a Homeowner to purchase their own PV system. They add a substantial amount to the value of a home AND the increase the likelihood of selling the home faster when the time comes because the buyer knows they will have a significantly lower monthly bill.

    A privately owned system is usually purchased because of the local and Federal rebate programs. Without both, fewer households will get them.

    I believe CPS will use this new program to justify ending the local rebate program. Also, homes with a PV system which gives tiny savings because the homeowner is not the owner of the system will make it much harder to sell these homes years later. The benefit cost ratio does not work out as well as full ownership of a PV system.

    CPS wins. Installers win. Owners lose…

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