CPS Energy hosts solar information session

Solar stakeholders look for middle ground

SAN ANTONIO – After CPS Energy's announced SunCredit Program, many solar users, contractors and stakeholders packed an information session hosted by CPS on Friday.

Mary Permann is a solar customer and was shocked to hear that CPS is planning to make changes to her rates.

"I really think that there has not been enough forethought into this process," said Permann. "That's my issue ... that it was something that came up so quickly and they are going to enact it so quickly."

As it stands now, if you use solar panels, the extra energy you produce is purchased by CPS at a rate of 9.9 cents per killowat hour, but come June 1, that rate will change to 5.6 cents.

CPS officials said they came up with the change to make things equal for all customers.

"CPS Energy customers are helping pay that debt through their bills," said Christine Patmon, with CPS Energy. "So when solar customers are not paying for that infrastructure cost, they are not paying their part of that debt."

At Friday's informational sessions, Billy Hill, a contractor with Hill Electric, said he hopes they find middle ground because they are already losing customers.

"If this SunCredit system goes through I wouldn't be able to sell you a system and honestly tell you that the benefit is going to be decreased by 40 percent because of SunCredit," Hill said. "The numbers wouldn't work. The reality of that is that it would kill solar in San Antonio."

Patmon said they are taking everyone's feedback from Friday's meeting and that they'll go back and review it.

For now, those using solar energy and those looking to get solar energy will be grandfathered in at the current rate until May 31.

For a list of recent stories Stephanie Serna has done, click here.

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