Why is rooftop solar good for Arizona?
- It connects people to their energy use and generation.
- It encourages people to participate in our community's energy use and policies.
- It paves the way for a more resilient and secure energy grid in the future, with electric vehicles, batteries, etc.
- It creates an economically vibrant community to live in.
- It supports a cultural identity of sustainability and caring about the health of our community
- Solar energy adoption and energy efficiency are both in the long term public interest.
We Are Asking That the ACC:
- Preserve net metering or, if changes are to be made, to have slow and gradual reduction in net metering with current solar owners grandfathered in.
The ACC should provide grandfathering of rate structure and net metering for the numerous Arizonans that have invested in solar while the Commission supported it. The rules of the game shouldn’t be changed midway through their investment in solar.
Potential Change Note: TEP has changed their request, and only seeks to effect consumers who go solar after the implementation date of the forthcoming decision.
- No abrupt changes in rate structure or net metering, which are devastating to the adoption of solar.
The ACC should make changes to rate structures gradual, either through optional new rates or with changes that are less than 5% different per year. The people that will be most impacted by the changes being proposed are lower income citizens. Any changes in rate structure should continue to put increased costs on higher energy users which incentivizes energy efficiency and doesn't put more financial burden on low income users.
- Make any and all changes in a way that continues to encourage people to put solar on their homes.
If the ACC determines that long-term changes to rate structures should be made, they should be gradual changes that continue to encourage people to put solar on their homes and to focus on energy efficiency.
Tucson Electric Power's (TEP's) Proposals:
- Change how we pay for electricity in a way that reduces the incentive to conserve energy and focuses instead on keeping maximum energy use at any given moment of the day down to a minimum.
- Increase the current fixed charge that we all pay on our electric bills (from ≈ $10 to $15/month). Lower energy using households, which are often the lower income households, would be more proportionally hit by this increase.
- Drastically change net metering, or in other words, reducing the $ value of solar energy that you produce and don't use right away during the day from ≈ 10-12¢ per watt to less than 6¢ per watt.
How would this impact Tucsonans?
About half of ratepayers will pay more per month than they have been while the top 15% of users will end up paying less. Anyone with an average electric bill of less than $100 per month is likely to pay more under this proposed rate structure. Reducing net metering would deflate the current win-win situation of solar for homeowners.
Share Your Thoughts Directly:
To contact the ACC with your thoughts on solar energy in Tucson, you may reach out via direct email or social media, or by submitting a formal file to the docket. Contact points for all methods are outlined below:
The ACC on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Arizona-Corporation-Commission-236191902948/?fref=ts
The ACC does not maintain an active twitter handle, but previously used: @AZCorpComm and is still tagged by others in tweets.
Contact a Commissioner Directly:
Chairman Doug Little: Littleemail@example.com
Commissioner Andy Tobin: Tobinfirstname.lastname@example.org
Commissioner Tom Forese: Foreseemail@example.com
Commissioner Bob Stump: Stumpfirstname.lastname@example.org
Commissioner Bob Burns: RBurnsemail@example.com
To file a docket:
Docket Number: E-01933A-15-0322
By emailing any, or all, of the commissioners listed above, your comments will be automatically filed to the docket. (Personal information will be redacted for privacy concerns.)
Some of the items up for decision will be made post-election season. For a full rundown of prospective ACC candidates, please visit our blog entry below:
Now's the Time to Go Solar
With the above-mentioned changes to solar rate structuring on the horizon, now really is the time to go solar. Customers who go solar before changes are enacted will receive grandfathering, securing their access to current rates, which currently offer an average solar energy system repayment window of 8 years.
Note: Bookmark this page! We will be continuing to follow news and developments over the coming weeks, and will keep this post updated regularly to reflect those changes.