Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) Open meeting in Tucson

Wednesday, February 8th, 10AM   400 W. Congress in Hearing Room #218.

Agenda:
The open meeting will cover TEP and TRICO’s electricity and rate design structures. The decisions made by the ACC will impact new and existing solar customers, as well as all electricity customers. It is unusual for the ACC Commissioners to come to Tucson. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to have your voice heard.

Note: TRICO customers - please skip to the bottom for TRICO-related issues.


A brief summary of the issues on the table (TEP):

Issue 1: Proposed changes to optional residential electric rate structures:
     1) Default residential time of use rate ($10-12 per month fee- basic service charge)
    2) Standard volumetric or two part rate ($13-15 per month fee)

These new rate structures would affect all customers, including existing solar customers, and non-solar customers. Most solar customers, new and existing, would choose option two as the structure that would save them the most. Existing customers will see their monthly fee go from around $10 per month to around $13-15 per month plus taxes.

Issue 2: The addition of a solar meter fee for new solar customers.
ACC is considering two dollars per month indefinitely or $140 one time fee. TEP is asking that the fee be increased to almost $9 per month.

Issue 3: The current commission recommendation would grandfather solar customers beginning at the end of Phase 1 (approximately February 2017).
We are requesting that that be changed to grandfathering starting at the end of Phase 2 (approximately July 2017). 

Issue 4: For commercial customers only: The current GS10 rate (based on kWh and fixed fee) will move to SGS (similar to GS-10) or MGS (more than 24,000 kWh in a two month period) which will have kWh charges, kW (demand) charges, and a fixed fee. 


Chairman Tom Forese and other Commissioners will attend in person as they make key decisions that impact residents of Southern Arizona:

“I look forward to being able to speak to the people that these cases impact directly,” said Commission Chairman Tom Forese. “We are a Commission that wants to engage all of Arizona, not just those living in Maricopa County.”


Upcoming issues:

The Phase 2 proceeding of the TEP rate case will deal with new rates for new solar customers, including replacing net metering with an export rate that will be fixed for 10 years. There may be additional solar meter fees proposed.

 

If you support solar, and especially “rooftop” solar in Arizona, here are some things you can tell the ACC at the Open Meeting on Feb 8:

 

  • Ask that the cut off date for grandfathering of solar customers be the date of implementation of Phase 2 proceeding, and not before. This will ensure that customers who are considering going solar know the rates and fees that will apply to them.  
  • Tell the ACC that you appreciate that the Commission did not adopt the $20 monthly fee (basic service charge) and instead is opting for the $10-$13/mo charges. Tell them you oppose TEP’s recent suggestion to raise the basic service charge even higher.
     
  • Tell the ACC to maintain 3 tiers in the residential rate structures. TEP has proposed reducing it to 2 tiers. As you use more electricity during your monthly bill period, the price goes up with each tier. This is important for encouraging energy efficient decisions, i.e. when people make decisions about replacing appliances in their homes.
     
  • Let the ACC know that you want to strongly encourage them to develop the electric rates relating to solar in a way that continues to incentivize customers to use and develop solar. They will make the decisions on this in the next phase, Phase 2, but it is good to let them know how you feel about it at this meeting.
     
  • Tell the ACC you oppose TEP's requested solar meter fee of almost $9 per month, and that $2 per month is more reasonable. Some are arguing to reject the solar meter fee altogether.

TRICO Customers: A brief summary of the issues on the table:

Issue 1: Increase the residential basic service charge from $15/mo to $24/mo. for all customers, solar and non-solar, existing and new. This will have a small impact on the average to large user, but will have a large impact on very low use customers. A customer who uses 300 kwh/mo will see more than a 10% increase on their bill. 

Issue 2: The ACC will be deciding when to set the cut off date for solar customers to be grandfathered into the existing rates. The current proposal is for that date to be the time of the Phase 1 hearing (this hearing), which wouldn’t allow the important inclusion of the Value of Solar decision.



If you support solar, and especially “rooftop” solar in Arizona, here are some things you can tell the ACC at the Open Meeting on Feb 8:

  • Ask that the cut off date for grandfathering of solar customers be the date of implementation of Phase 2 proceeding, and not before. This gives time for customers that are in the process of going solar to be included in the benefits of grandfathering.   
  • Tell the ACC that the increase in the monthly fee (basic service charge) from $15/mo to $24/mo is too drastic of an increase and could create a financial hardship for some customers.
  • Let the ACC know that you want to strongly encourage them to develop the electric rates relating to solar in a way that continues to incentivize customers to use and develop solar. They will make the decisions on this in the next phase, Phase 2, but it is good to let them know how you feel about it at this meeting.

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