Parties reached a settlement in an Arizona Public Service Company (APS) Rate Case that will impact solar energy options for customers of the state’s largest utility. Renewable energy advocates consider the settlement a significant improvement from APS’s original proposal, which had included a number of unfair and unjustified anti-solar provisions including new mandatory demand charges and discriminatory rates for its solar customers.
“Arizona’s families and businesses should be able to meet their own energy needs with the state’s plentiful sunshine if they so choose,” said Briana Kobor, DG regulatory policy program director with Vote Solar. “Solar is an investment that supports local jobs, improves energy security and helps build a competitive new energy economy in the state. We were glad to arrive at a settlement that takes some steps to preserve customer choice, keeps solar customers on the same rates as other customers, and soundly rejects the idea of penalizing all residential customers with mandatory demand charges.”
“We look forward to putting the litigation stage behind and moving forward with all parties to expand clean energy access and provide new clean energy jobs in Arizona,” said David Bender, staff attorney with Earthjustice.
SEIA also issued a statement, by Sean Gallagher, SEIA’s vice president of state affairs:
“After weeks of discussion, we are pleased negotiations produced a settlement that all stakeholders, SEIA included, feel comfortable signing. The thorough process concluded outside of litigation, and we hope an era of collaboration will take hold in Arizona.
“While the solar industry didn’t get everything it had hoped for out of the settlement, Arizona’s current solar customers can rest assured they will be grandfathered into their existing rates, which was a priority for SEIA. Under the agreement, new solar customers will be able to sign up under initial rates that are as favorable as could be obtained under the Commission’s December 2016 Value of Solar decision, which creates longer term uncertainties for Arizona customers.”
Read the settlement here.