Last week, the Center for American Progress, a research and educational institute, released a study [PDF] showing that solar in Arizona utility APS’ territory has been obtained many times more by the middle class than the upper class. In fact, over 79% of APS residential solar installations are on the rooftops of households earning between $40,000 and $90,000, while the fastest growing body of solar customers earns between $40,000 and $50,000. The study also shows that these solar adoption rates align closely with the population distribution across income levels.
The most encouraging part of the study is that it was actually based on data, also known as facts or statistics. On the other hand, there has been a huge influx of monopoly-supporting op-eds fighting solar, whose authors implement the same writing techniques that probably got them into a lot of trouble on their high school research papers. Unfortunately for society, they have managed to spit out a few pieces whose invented information actually made headlines.
One of the more popular subjects has been the “unjust societal divide” created by a homeowner’s solar installation, claiming that lower income citizens are subsidizing a technology afforded only to the upper class. I hope this piece of legitimate research will help clarify an issue that has concerned so many hoping to ruin the economics of solar certainly in favor of protecting our lower income families.