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Since 2017, APS has been slowly reducing its solar energy export rate. The export rate refers to the credits APS solar customers receive when they send excess solar energy back to the grid. It’s a great program that allows solar customers to save even more money by cashing in these credits during heavier usage months. Since 2017, APS has reduced this buyback rate every October 1, except for 2020 due to COVID concerns.

This year, all indicators point to another reduction set to take effect on October 1st. However, there’s good news for those of you who are existing solar customers and anyone willing to go solar before the end of September 2021. As it has been with previous rate changes, existing APS solar customer will be grandfathered per the terms of their existing contract. Just as important, any new solar customers who lock in an APS interconnection agreement before the October 1st, 2021 decrease will also be grandfathered.

Here are five reasons why September 2021 is the best time to go solar in APS:

1 | The current 10.45 cent solar buyback will decrease on October 1st, 2021

As part of the 2017 Rate Case, APS did away with net metering, the program that offered a dollar-for-dollar credit for any excess solar energy sent back to the grid. The new program sets a single “export rate” that is reviewed annually every September. The current export rate is set at 10.45 cents per kWh, having been reduced twice already in both 2018 and 2019. An ACC vote in the coming weeks will set a new, lower amount for the following year beginning on October 1st, 2021.

2 | Locking in a solar contract now will shield you for 10 years

APS honors new solar contracts for 10 years. So, if you’ve been considering solar and want to ensure today’s best rates while shielding yourself from future rate increases or buyback credit decreases, be sure to lock in your solar contract before the deadline.

3 | September 20th is the “real” date

It takes time to complete a final design and submit it to APS for approval. An interconnection agreement cannot be completed without an approved design. As such, anyone wanting to beat the APS ramp down should call us (Rosie-Certified Sun Valley Solar Solutions) before September 20th, 2021 to ensure that there is enough time to complete the critical and necessary design and application steps before the end of September.

4 | Other Solar incentives still exist but they are also disappearing quickly

The federal tax credit decreased from 30% in 2019 to today’s 26% as part of a multi-year ramp-down to zero. Starting in 2023, the solar tax credit drops again to 22% and will be gone entirely by 2024. For now, the state of Arizona still offers a flat $1,000 solar tax credit while voiding sales tax on a solar purchase.

5 | Despite the confusion, solar is alive and well in APS

With ongoing rate changes at both SRP and APS, as well as a dwindling incentive programs, it’s easy to assume that solar is losing its luster. This couldn’t be further from the truth – there is still plenty of room for savings, and panel manufacturers continue to find pricing efficiencies through volume and innovation. With that said, a solar ROI typically factors in available incentives and energy buyback credits, all of which are ramping down in the weeks and months ahead. So, when it comes to solar, waiting is generally not the most lucrative strategy.

Give Rosie-Certified Sun Valley Solar Solutions a call today and get started adding solar to your home!


Solar experts, Sun Valley Solar Solutions is the largest, dedicated Arizona-based solar energy company and is one of the fastest growing solar energy installers in the nation. They specialize in residential and commercial Solar Energy Systems, customized design and engineering, full service repair and warranty. They are also a fully licensed Electrical Contractor, and certified Tesla Powerwall and LG Chem Battery Installer.


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