Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) applauded the recent announcement by Arizona Public Service (APS) that the utility is doubling its Environmental Portfolio Standard Credit Purchase Program for 2004, from US$1 million to $2 million.Washington, D.C. – July 14, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] The APS customers who install grid-connected solar-electric systems on their homes or businesses may qualify for an incentive payment equal to 50% of the system cost or $4 per watt, whichever is less. Off-grid customers may qualify for an incentive payment equal to $2 per watt. APS reports that the original $1 million has already been reserved by customers. “The popularity of the APS program is not surprising,” said Scott Sklar, SEIA’s interim Executive Director. “Customers want the reliability and environmental benefits of solar power, and will leap at the chance to install a system, particularly when their up-front costs are reduced through a utility or government incentive program. Across the country, we are seeing high demand in all the states where programs like this are offered.” APS customers sign up through a reservation system that operates on a first-come, first-served basis. Both grid-connected and off-grid customers are eligible for credits, as are both solar electric and solar hot water systems. The new credits funded through this expansion will be paid in 2005. “The expansion of the APS program is great news for APS customers and Arizona’s solar industry,” said Sean Seitz, president of the Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association. “All Arizonans will breathe a bit easier as clean, renewable solar energy grows more common across our state.” Complete details of the program are available from the APS website at the address below.