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APS Solar Communities Program Expands Access to Clean Energy for Limited-Income Customers

October 22, 2018

Participants receive $360 annual savings for 20 years through program

For one Sun City resident, the new solar panels going on her home’s roof were reason for part celebration and part relief.

“I’m really happy this is happening for me,” said the retired nurse, as a Harmon Solar crew installed the 7-kilowatt (kW) system on a sweltering July morning. “I’m on a fixed income, so this program helps. I’m very grateful.”

This APS customer was one of the first to benefit from the APS Solar Communities program. The program offers a new, free clean-energy option to limited- and moderate-income customers in APS service territory statewide. It was created as part of the APS rate review approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission in 2017.

“This program is a real opportunity to help our participating customers save money and contribute to a cleaner energy future for all Arizonans at the same time,” said Maggie Gibbs, APS Solar Communities program manager.

Participating single-family residential customers will receive bill credits totaling $360 annually ($30 a month) for 20 years. That amounts to total savings of $7,200 per household. Credit checks or lease payments are not required from participating customers.

The systems are owned and operated by APS – an approach modeled on the company’s award-winning Solar Partner program. The program is supporting the Arizona economy by employing Arizona-based solar installers to assemble the systems.

So far, the program is benefiting customers in communities across the state, including Arizona City, Douglas, Glendale, Phoenix, Rimrock and Sun City.

“We are always looking for ways to bring unique programs to our state that benefit our customers, community and economy – that’s exactly what Solar Communities delivers,” said Marc Romito, APS Director of Customer Technology. “We are investing up to $15 million annually for the next three years in clean energy for residents who otherwise wouldn’t have access to rooftop solar.”

In addition to the program’s income requirements, other qualifications include roof size, orientation and structural integrity to accommodate a system. The residential systems range in size from 4 kilowatts (kW) to 8 kW.

The solar systems are being installed primarily on single-family houses with west- and southwest-facing roofs. This offers the greatest potential to generate energy during the late afternoon and early evening, when customers use the most electricity.

APS Solar Communities is also open to qualifying non-residential customers, including multifamily housing, Title I schools, nonprofits serving limited-income groups and government entities serving rural communities in APS service territory.

For these customers, APS will install solar canopies for covered parking and provide a variable monthly bill credit based on the size of the solar structure.

The company’s innovative technology research will also continue as part of the program. Each system is equipped with an advanced inverter, which converts solar energy into electricity for customer use. Advanced inverters can be controlled remotely to maintain or reduce output from the systems. This feature enables APS grid operators to manage solar energy flowing into neighborhoods across the state more efficiently while ensuring reliability for customers.

For more information about APS Solar Communities and to apply for the program, visit


The APS Solar Communities program is increasing access to rooftop solar for limited-and moderate-income customers, including this Sun City installation by Harmon Solar.

Categories: Clean
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