LEHI, Utah, Aug. 29, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Facing the possibility of a regulatory proceeding that could have devastated the solar industry and harmed Utah rooftop solar customers, Vivint Solar joined industry leaders in agreeing to a compromise solution to protect existing solar customers and to preserve Utahns' ability to choose rooftop solar in the future.
"Utahns are passionate about technological innovation, energy independence and environmental stewardship," said David Bywater, CEO of Vivint Solar. "The settlement clears up the uncertainty of the last nine months created by RMP, but as with any compromise, we didn't get everything we want in this deal. We made many concessions that were painful and will hurt our industry, but the agreement allows us to move forward. We believe transparency and certainty in the regulatory process benefit all Utahns. This compromise was necessary in Utah to enable us to support Utah's solar pioneers as we honor previous commitments and preserve consumer choice."
Convened by Gov. Gary Herbert, a small group consisting of the rooftop solar industry, solar advocates, the Utah Division of Public Utilities, the Utah Office of Consumer Services, Rocky Mountain Power, and environmental stakeholders, agreed to a three-year process that will help determine the true value of rooftop solar and its long-term benefits to all ratepayers and Utah.
Under the settlement, existing rooftop solar customers will be grandfathered through the end of 2035. While the compromise is expected to slow job creation in Utah's rooftop solar sector, new customers will be able to invest in rooftop solar without unwarranted increased charges. Additionally, through the end of 2033, they will receive nearly the retail rate for the clean energy they provide to the grid and that's consumed by their neighbors.
With Rocky Mountain Power's 2016 study and net metering proposal, the benefits of rooftop solar were significantly undervalued by narrowly looking at the value provided by solar in one year instead of a long-term view of solar over its 35-plus year useful life. The current compromise allows consumers, businesses and advocates to challenge these erroneous value assumptions, the short-term narrow view, and collect the necessary data to accurately determine the true value of rooftop solar. As this additional data is collected from a significant sample size and evaluated, solar industry leaders are confident it will show that the long-term benefits of rooftop solar outweigh its costs and there is no subsidy.
"This compromise allows Utahns to affordably invest in rooftop solar with the certainty of a 15-year fixed rate for energy they export to the grid. More importantly, solar customers will be able to generate all the power for use in their own home or business without being penalized," said Ryan Evans, president of the Utah Solar Energy Association. "The transition program we've created will protect the majority of the 4,400 solar jobs in Utah and the $400 million economic impact the industry has in our state."
"Utah Clean Energy's priority throughout this process was to ensure that all Utahns have the choice to power their homes with their own solar energy," said Sarah Wright, executive director of Utah Clean Energy. "This settlement accomplishes that goal for the near term, ensuring a stable solar market for Utah. It also allows experts to work through long-term solutions for integrating solar into our electricity system to finally end the tug-of-war that has been going on between the utility and families and businesses wanting to install solar."
About Vivint Solar
Vivint Solar is a leading full-service residential solar provider in the United States. With Vivint Solar, customers can power their homes with clean, renewable energy and typically achieve significant financial savings over time. Offering integrated residential solar solutions for the entire customer lifecycle, Vivint Solar designs and installs the solar energy systems for its customers, and offers monitoring and maintenance services. In addition to being able to purchase a solar energy system outright, customers may benefit from Vivint Solar's affordable, flexible financing options, power purchase agreements, or lease agreements, where available. Through an exclusive collaboration, Vivint Solar also offers solar plus storage systems with Mercedes-Benz batteries. For more information, visit www.vivintsolar.com or follow @VivintSolar on Twitter.
Helen Langan, Director of Public Relations
Ashlyn Hewlett, Method Communications
SOURCE Vivint Solar