Solar Power
1:03 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Solar Advocates Unite To Oppose CPS Energy's Solar Credit Changes

San Antonio’s solar power industry is collectively fighting back against a plan by CPS Energy to lower a credit given to solar energy users.

Solar interests are calling for CPS Energy to backtrack on its decision to introduce SunCredit, a program that would reduce an existing dollar-for-dollar credit on generating solar energy.

Lanny Sinkin, executive director of Solar San Antonio, told a group of solar project managers and home owners that the utility is willing to meet with a small group of them to talk about what options are on the table.

"I’m recommending that we do pursue the idea of a small delegation that meets with them, that we start the discussion on these issues, that we insist the discussion be a broader discussion than just SunCredit," Sinkin said. "We’re happy to discuss SunCredit and it’s flaws, of which there are many."

Sinkin said the proposed SunCredit plan is most unfair to current solar users.

"These are people who made investments based on numbers they were told. Now you’re changing the numbers and reducing the return on investment, we don’t think that’s fair and it’s probably not legal," Sinkin said.

He is proposing solar advocates and CPS Energy form a solar working group to work out another method. The plan under CPS Energy would credit 5.6 cents per kilowatt to solar energy users, which is about 4 cents lower than the current rate.

The utility’s argument for a lower rate is that it helps pay for the cost of utility poles and other infrastructure. Current solar energy customers will be grandfathered in for ten years. If SunCredit goes through it will take effect in November.

CPS Energy will host a public meeting at La Villita on May 3 at 4 p.m. to allow people to voice their concerns.