By policy design, consumers are supposed to save money when they invest in solar energy. This paper presents a case study of what happens when a church goes solar and the finances go wrong. Following the installation of solar-photovoltaic panels, the Arizona church—in the Valley of the Sun, among the sunniest places in the country—decreased its energy consumption, but its electric bills went up. Through oral-history interviews of key stakeholders, the author investigates what happened, and what could be done to prevent other religious institutions and nonprofits from experiencing the church’s fate.
Keywords:solar energy, Arizona, renewable energy, energy consumption, energy incentives, nonprofits
© 2018 by David Krantz. All rights reserved.