Arkansas’ primary energy sources are coal and nuclear. While the state has solid solar resources, it ranks in the bottom 25 percent nationally for installed solar capacity, having fewer than 150 homes topped with rooftop solar panels, according to information gathered by The Solar Foundation.
Not surprisingly, the state’s lack of enthusiasm for solar has kept the growing industry from becoming a major part of Arkansas’ economy. The state ranks 43 for solar-industry jobs.
But Arkansas has a few factors on its side. It is adding solar and climbed from No. 42 in 2012 to No. 43 in the nation for solar industry jobs.
The state also has a strong net metering policy, which credits solar homeowners at the retail rate for the excess power they generate and feed back onto the grid. That relatively robust net metering policy would have likely made a bigger impact on the state’s energy makeup by now if it weren’t for a lack of policy supporting third-party owned systems and some of the country’s lowest utility rates.
Arkansas has the third least expensive power in the nation. It’s one of just three states where solar energy will not reach grid parity in 2016. While Arkansas, like nearly every state, does have a growing solar industry, it’s much slower growing than most.
|Technologies||Photovoltaics, Solar Hot Water Heating and Wind Energy|
|Amount||For systems 25 kW or under, $1.50 per kilowatt hour, $0.75 per kWh for systems larger than 25 kW|
|Required Documentation||Online Electric Application and Application Checklist|
|Official Web Site|
This program is closed.
|Program Type||Net Metering|
|Technologies||Photovoltaics, Solar Thermal Electrics and other renewables|
|Amount||Credited to system owner at retail rate toward future bills|
|Required Documentation||Interconnection agreement with the utility|
|Official Web Site||http://www.arkansasenergy.org/|
Arkansas has offered net metering in the state since July 2002. However, under the state’s law, customers do not receive any actual cash for net metering a system. Rather excess generation is credited forward, at retail rate, toward future electricity bills. At the end of a 12-month period any overall excess generation is granted back the customer’s utility.
Residential renewable electric generation systems up to 25 kW are eligible to enroll in the program. Non-residential renewable energy systems up to 300 kW also are eligible to net meter their system. In addition to solar power, systems generating power from wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, biomass and microturbines are eligible.
Only investor-owned utilities and cooperative utilities are covered under the net-metering law. Municipal utilities are not covered by the net-metering law.
To be eligible, customers must sign an interconnection agreement with their utility and must submit it to the utility at least 30 days before connecting the system.
|Program Type||Energy-efficiency Rebate|
|Technologies||Lighting, Duct- and Air-sealing, Insulation and HVAC Improvements|
|Amount||$329 per kW of reduced peak energy demand|
|Required Documentation||Contact the Arkansas Energy Efficiency Solutions Center at 1-877-212-2420|
|Official Web Site||http://www.entergy-arkansas.com/your_home/save_money/EE/residential-solutions.aspx|
While the state doesn't offer much in the way of renewable energy incentives, it offers a host of energy efficiency incentives, as do utilities in the state. Taking advantage of such programs can help residents save energy and make solar installations more effective.
Under the state’s Entergy Arkansas program residents can qualify for a variety of residential efficiency programs to make energy efficient improvements to their homes.
Residents can enroll in the program by contacting an Energy Efficiency Solutions Center representative, or by checking out the program online. Among other things the program allows for people to calculate energy savings online and have a walk-through energy assessment of their home. If, after having a walk-through assessment, the customer chooses to make recommended energy improvements, their utility will cover part of the costs.
Rebates are as follows:
$175 incentive toward the cost of a high-performance AC tune-up of a system size 5 tons or less
State Loan Program
Utility Loan Program
Rules, Regulations & Policies
Building Energy Code
Energy Standards for Public Buildings
Related Programs & Initiatives
The U.S. Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center (AFDC) provides a wide range of information and resources to enable the use of alternative fuels and other petroleum-reduction options, such as advanced vehicles, fuel blends, idle reduction and fuel economy. The AFDC site offers a database of state and federal laws and incentives related to alternative fuels and vehicles, air quality, fuel efficiency, and other transportation-related topics.
The U.S. Department of Energy's Green Power Network provides news and information on green power markets and activities, including opportunities to buy green power. This site provides state-by-state information on green power marketing and utility green power programs. In addition, the site lists marketers of renewable energy credits (RECs), also known as green tags or renewable energy certificates, which represent the environmental attributes of the power produced from renewable energy projects.
The U.S. Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) enables low-income families to reduce their energy bills by making their homes more energy-efficient. Through this program, weatherization service providers install energy-efficiency measures in the homes of qualifying homeowners free of charge. The WAP program web site offers a state-by-state map of opportunities, projects and activities.
The U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Powering America site provides state-by-state information on wind projects and activities, including wind working groups, validated wind maps, anemometer loan programs, small wind guides, state-specific news, wind for schools, workshops and web casts.