August 18, 2015
The ACC’s decision means that Arizona will have an open, transparent, public discussion of how to continue our state’s leadership in solar power while still protecting average electricity customers. That’s important because when we get past the divisive rhetoric and the political theater, the facts are clear.
Arizona led the way in 2013, and in the last two years virtually every state with an active solar market has followed, recognizing that well-intentioned solar subsidies are creating a growing cost shift that hurts average electricity customers. We all want to continue Arizona’s national leadership in reliable, affordable, clean energy; but that can’t happen unless electricity rates are updated to reflect the changing way customers use energy, like rooftop solar.
We agree with other parties that a rate case is the appropriate forum to make comprehensive changes, but we can and should take some steps now. The problem is not going to go away, and in fact every month that goes by without action makes it harder for the ACC to solve it in the next rate case.
Our request is simply an interim step that, if approved, would provide a little additional relief for average electricity customers, whose bills are being driven up by outdated rate policies. The proposal doesn’t affect our bottom line, and it doesn’t affect customers who have already made the decision to go solar.
This is a real issue, with real consequences for Arizona’s solar leadership and electricity consumers. States across America are tackling the problem, and it's time for Arizona to take the next step. Our proposal has broad support from Arizona solar installers, RUCO, chambers of commerce, low-income advocates, independent power producers and others. It is the right thing to do for Arizona.