Update On ACC Decisions
Following the ACC's open meeting on solar rate structures in Tucson on February 8th, 2017 - the current status of TEP and Trico's proposed changes are as follows:
- New and prospective solar customers will be able to get in under grandfathering rules for the current, more favorable net metering structure so long as they have their TEP interconnection application in by the implementation of Phase 2 proceedings decisions, likely August 2017 or later.
- Everyone who signs up for solar with TEP, from here on out, will be subject to a monthly bi-directional meter fee of $2.05/month, or a one time payment of $143. This will not apply to customers who already have solar or who had their applications in before the hearing this week.
- TEP customers will be able to stay on the traditional two-part electric rates, however the basic service charge will go up to $13/month (from around $10). There will be three tiers in the rates instead of four as previously. As you use more electricity during your monthly bill period, the price goes up with each tier. This is a positive step for energy efficiency. A more tiered structure is important for encouraging energy efficient decisions, i.e. when people make decisions about replacing appliances in their homes.
- The total rate increase (including basic service charge increase) that was approved for TEP was 8.5%, but the increase for residential customers as a whole will be 12.6%. This applies to all electric customers, not just solar users.
- The net metering grandfathering window will end this week (Feb. 4th). All solar customers who sign up after that time will be subject to the new net metering rates, which include a $.077/kwh export rate. (That means the extra energy they produce during the day will be credited at that rate rather than the retail rate it was previously credited at -more like $.12-$.13). That new export rate is fixed for a 10 yr period, and may go up or down after that.
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: Littlefirstname.lastname@example.org
Commissioner Andy Tobin: Tobinemail@example.com
Commissioner Tom Forese: Foresefirstname.lastname@example.org
Commissioner Boyd Dunn: Dunnemail@example.com
Commissioner Bob Burns: RBurnsfirstname.lastname@example.org
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.