New solar company comes to Mesa - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

New solar company comes to Mesa

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Posted: Sunday, June 15, 2014 12:15 pm | Updated: 9:04 am, Tue Jul 8, 2014.

Vivint Solar, one of the largest providers of solar systems in the nation, is setting up two offices in the Valley — one in Phoenix to serve the West Valley, and one in Mesa for the East Valley, creating about 130 jobs total.

The company offers residential customers a lease on a solar system with rates lower than their bill would be from the local power company. Vivint pays completely for the installation of the system and any permits or other legal fees involved.

Chance Allred, vice president of sales for Vivint, said Arizona is a prime target market for solar companies, and that the company is eager to get started.

“The reason we’re coming into Arizona is primarily because Arizona gets a lot of sun, which means each solar panel creates more energy,” Allred said.

Vivint hesitated on setting up shop in Arizona until November, when the state finally compromised with the Arizona Public Service company (APS), which had asked that solar users be charged extra fees. The compromise allowed for a fee but held it down to about $5 a month on average.

Phoenix resident Theresa Dorsey said she had always thought about going solar but hadn’t really taken initiative on the idea until door-to-door salespeople for Vivint came to her. She said there has been little to no issues with red tape and the company has taken care of everything in just a couple of months.

“They gave me a table of what they felt my bill would be over the next 10 years,” Dorsey said. “It’s one of those things where it seems like it’s too good to be true, but then you ask more questions and things sort of flush themselves out.”

Allred said, the savings between the lease and a normal electricity bill is about 20 percent.

“We’re really excited to be in Arizona. We feel like it’s a win-win for the consumers,” said Allred. “The more energy these solar arrays produce, the more money they end up saving.”

Editor’s note: In the initial version it was noted Vivint negotiates for lower rates. Vivint clarified it does not negotiate specific electrical rates with utility companies. The rates are set by the utility companies under guidelines from the Arizona Corporation Commission.

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