Tucson Electric Power seeks to reduce solar incentives

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For years, Tucson Electric Power has been offering residents incentives to get involved in solar power.

The program worked well, but now TEP wants to reduce how much you're getting back.

In the last 12 years a lot has changed in Tucson in regard to solar energy.

"Business has really evolved and changed a lot the southern Arizona has always been very pro environment," says Katherine Kent of the Solar Store.

More and more people have turned to solar in the past 6 months than they have in the past 9 years, a lot of that is due to the incentives that TEP offers if you vet solar paneling. All that is about to change.

"In response to that we've proposed a reduction in the amount of our incentives in hopes that we would get more solar energy for our customers money," says Joe Salkowski of Tucson Electric Power.

In other words, fewer incentives for you to use solar power.

Tucson Electric Power has been offering $3/Watt rebates for the last 6 years.

In that time, the cost of solar paneling your home has nose dived 50%.

"Right now it's clear the incentives are so high relative to the cost of solar power that it's a situation we can address by reducing those incentives," says Salkowski.

TEP wants to reduce those incentives by 75¢ or 25%. Yet, they believe it'll help everyone in the long run, "We think that by reducing the incentives we can actually contain our funding for longer and encourage more interest in solar energy."

Only time will tell.

Right now, the proposal is in front of the Arizona Corporation Commission who have final say on whether or not to approve it. That decision could come at the commission's open meeting July 27th.