Bright Arizona Community Solar
Locally generated solar power
As a UniSource Energy Services customer, you can purchase solar power to cover some or all of your electrical needs. It's an easy and affordable way to reduce or eliminate your energy from conventional resources and use locally generated solar power.
Reserve your solar power blocks
The Bright Arizona Community Solar Program offers an easy and affordable way to meet your electric needs with locally generated solar power. As a UES customer, you now have the opportunity to purchase solar power in "blocks" of 150 kilowatt hours (kWh) per month.
You can buy some or all of your power through the program, reducing or eliminating your energy from conventional resources.
Features and benefits
- No up-front expenses or equipment maintenance costs
- Renewable energy option for renters and those customers whose rooftops are shaded by trees or nearby buildings
- Protection offered against future energy cost increases
- Surcharge exemption for solar energy purchases on renewable energy, fuel and purchased power
- Minimized carbon footprint and reliance on fossil fuels
- Clean, green renewable energy for an affordable price
Each block purchased will add $3.00 to your monthly electric bill. However, program blocks are exempt from two surcharges applied to other electric usage: the Renewable Energy Standard Tariff (REST) and the Purchased Power and Fuel Adjustment Clause (PPFAC), so your actual impact will be lower. Both surcharges are adjusted annually to reflect changing energy costs and other factors, so the benefit of avoiding them would increase over time if the surcharges rise.
Solar power costs more than conventional energy derived from fossil-fueled power plants, so participating in the program will increase your electric bill. Each block replaces the charges for an equivalent amount of conventional power at a rate that currently adds $3.00 to your monthly bill.
Program rates must be paid in full each month regardless of actual energy consumption. If the solar energy purchased through the program exceeds actual usage during a monthly billing period, the excess is carried forward to the next billing period as a credit. Any credit remaining after the September billing period will be paid in full as a credit on the next bill.
Calculate Solar Power
Determine how many solar blocks you can purchase.
Who is eligible?
The Bright Arizona Community Solar Program is available to most residential and commercial customers in UES' service territory.
The program is available to UES customers on the following three rate plans:
- Residential Service (R-01)
- Small General Service (SGS-10)
- Large General Service (LGS-13)
For 2012, UES will have 1,720 blocks of solar energy available for purchase through the Bright Arizona Community Solar program. Once the program is fully subscribed, customers may be placed on a waiting list until new local solar resources become available.
You can purchase as many blocks as you want and cancel at any time. UES reserves the right to limit purchases based on customers' anticipated electric use and program availability. Participants can increase or decrease the number of blocks they're buying just once in a 12-month period.
Solar energy source
The first sources of solar power for the Bright Arizona Community Solar Program are the 1.22 megawatt (MW) single-axis tracking PV array at La Senita Elementary School and the .5 MW solar array at Kingman1.
Future demands would be met through new solar power systems located in UES' service territory.
Participating UES Electric customers can purchase 150 kilowatt-hour (kWh) "blocks" of solar energy produced by local photovoltaic (PV) arrays. Each block will offset an equivalent amount of traditional power, allowing customers to enjoy the benefits of clean, green renewable energy for an affordable price.
Each block will replace the charges for an equivalent amount of traditional power at a cost that adds $3 apiece to participants' monthly bills. That price premium could be reduced in the future, though, if the cost of UES' traditional energy resources increases. The rate customers pay for solar energy blocks when they sign up for the Bright Arizona Community Solar Program will remain fixed for 20 years under rules approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC). While blocks purchased through the program will still be subject to non-fuel rate changes, they won't be affected by changes to the base energy rate, the PPFAC (Purchased Power and Fuel Adjustment Change), or REST (Renewable Energy Standards and Tariff) surcharges. Customers will be able to cancel their participation in the program at any time.
You can purchase enough blocks to meet your entire electric needs with solar energy. Six blocks would cover the average annual electric use of a typical household at a premium of just $18 per month. If a customer uses less energy than they've purchased through the program during a given billing period, the excess would be carried over and used to offset the traditional energy charges on future bills. Participation may be limited by the availability of energy from local UES solar power systems dedicated to the program.
The energy is generated by solar power systems located in UES' service territory. As UES expands its local solar generating capacity, new resources will become available to satisfy growing demand for the Bright Arizona Community Solar Program.
The program is not designed to reduce customers' electric bills. Rather, it offers an easy, affordable way to meet your electric needs with clean, renewable energy. Because solar power currently costs more than traditional energy resources, the energy blocks available from the Bright Arizona Community Solar Program will add to your monthly electric bill. But the price you'll pay for each block will remain fixed for 20 years under ACC-approved program rules, so you may realize future savings if the cost of traditional energy resources increases.
The program makes the benefits of clean, green solar power more widely available. While UES provides incentives to help reduce the up-front cost of installing a PV array at your home or business, those systems remain quite expensive. A standalone system may not be an option for many customers, including renters, low-income residents or those whose rooftops are shaded by trees or nearby buildings. The Bright Arizona Community Solar Program offers an easy, affordable way for anyone to invest in solar energy for a home or business.
The program is available to UES customers paying Residential Service (R-01), Small General Service (SGS-10), and Large General Service (LGS-13) rates.
You can sign up online or by calling Customer Care at 1-877-837-4968.
No. UES' local solar arrays feed energy into our distribution grid, where it cannot be distinguished from power generated elsewhere. The Bright Arizona Community Solar Program markets solar energy based on the metered output of participating systems. That's why the number of available blocks are limited by the power those systems can produce.
The Bright Arizona Community Solar Program, by contrast, allows you to take ownership of the solar power you purchase through the program. The program costs offset the traditional energy charges on your monthly bill, and your participation reduces the carbon footprint of your home or business by easing or eliminating your reliance on fossil-fueled power.
UES presumes that participating customers are interested in using solar energy to meet their electric needs year-round. Allowing excess credits to accumulate throughout the year serves that purpose by accommodating the increased usage that typically occurs during Arizona's hot summer months.
Customers who wish to satisfy their entire annual electric needs with solar power would need to subscribe to a number of blocks that exceeds their actual usage throughout much of the year but falls short of their summer consumption levels. These customers would accumulate monthly energy credits in most months but retire those credits during the summer. Even customers seeking to satisfy only a portion of their usage through the program may find themselves in similar circumstances.
Any energy credits that remain after September, though, are not likely to be needed until the following summer, if at all. That's why UES converts any remaining energy credits at that time into a payment that is applied as a credit against customers' October bills. Customers who cancel their participation in the program also will receive a credit on their next bill for any excess energy credits remaining at that time.
No. Blocks of solar energy purchased through the program are associated with a specific service address and cannot be transferred. If program blocks are still available, though, you can subscribe for the program again at your new address at the current solar energy rate.