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Natural Awakenings Metro Phoenix & Northern Arizona

Solar Power is Overdue in Our Sunny Clime: Discover new options and cost savings by going solar in this interview with Chris Wood of Sunny Energy in Tempe.

Aug 30, 2016 08:43AM

Chris Wood is a founding entrepreneur with Tempe-based Sunny Energy and a member of the Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association. His company offers extensive experience designing, installing and financing residential and commercial solar electric systems to provide customers the best combination of performance and price.

How has the solar landscape changed in the last five years?

A lot has changed. Costs have come down as much as 70 percent in the past five years. Lower system costs combined with higher efficiencies and better financing options means that there has never been a better time to go solar than this year.

Are there still tax advantages to installing solar?

Yes, the federal government offers a tax credit of 30 percent based on the entire system cost. There is also an Arizona state tax credit of $1,000 that is set to expire at the end of 2016.

Should we be concerned about potential rate hikes and policy changes from Arizona Public Service (APS)?

APS has requested a rate increase of 8 percent next year. APS is also looking to add a demand component to residential bills. This is somewhat complex, but it’s unlikely that going solar next year will be as attractive as it currently is.

How will solar affect a home’s value and why is it a good investment?

If you own the solar system instead of leasing it, solar does add value to your house. Statistics show that the investment is secure even after the homeowners have enjoyed years of clean energy.

What are the first steps in getting started?

The process starts with an analysis of your electric usage, habits and goals. The design and build process is somewhat complicated, but working with an experienced solar contractor will make it simple.

What is the best way to choose a provider?

Look for a company that asks questions before recommending a solution, has experience designing and installing residential solar systems in high-temperature environments, has positive reviews, does quality work, offers more than the minimum required warranty and offers a selection of equipment, design and financing options that are best-suited for each individual project.

Can we really make a difference in our children’s future health and environment?

One of the reasons that I got into the PV industry 10 years ago is that it makes sense regardless of your political affiliation and has financial, geopolitical, societal and environmental attributes that benefit us all. A study from Stanford University estimated that reducing carbon emissions from power plants would have the effect of avoiding 90,000 asthma attacks in children and at least 1,500 premature deaths. 

For more information, call 480-257-3283 or visit

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