Apparently El Paso Electric likes solar, except when it doesn't.
That is not to say El Paso Electric is some sort of boogie man.
El Paso Electric just wants to make money.
No, that's not a bad thing.
On the other hand, solar installers also want to make money, and finally have the opportunity to do so given how much the cost of equipment has dropped.
But let's not get caught up in the dollars and cents at least not right away.
Let's look at something else instead.
Unlike in other major cities in Texas, in El Paso you can get by with a swamp cooler. The higher altitude and desert climate let El Pasoans cool down with something that is much cheaper than a HVAC system. You could have a solar installation in Dallas or Austin, but will still need to pull from the grid in the summer because the HVAC system is working overtime, and you need more than what your solar installation can produce.
In El Paso?
El Pasoans probably use less electricity than folks in other parts of Texas.
If you are an El Pasoan with a solar installation, you might get away with not pulling power from the grid during the summer, and even if you do, it would be nowhere near as much as it would be in other places in Texas.
So back to those dollars and cents.
Using less electricity, means the utility bills you less. Which good for you, but bad for the utility.
And if more and more folks in El Paso are installing solar, you can see why El Paso Electric is not all that thrilled.
In some ways though this "fight" if you want to call that, mirrors that of Uber and taxis. Utilities are the taxis. For so long it has a built-in market, but then all of sudden somebody shows up and says, "Look, I can offer you something better!" thereby give you something you have not had before - a choice.
But in another way, this does not really mirror that fight.
Almost everyone that has a residential solar installation is on-grid. In this regard, yes, the utility is basically subsidizing your solar installation. An off-grid solar installation with a battery back-up will cost you at the very least double, if not triple, than that of an on-grid system.
Why is off-grid so much more expensive? Batteries.
I am not sure many homeowners want to sacrifice a room to store all their back-up batteries.
When it comes to money, both sides have a point.
But when it comes to the environment, which I did not bring up, one side probably has the stronger point.