Utility monopoly loses millions on anti-solar message that fell flat with Arizonans
(PHOENIX) Following a protest by some 1,000 people before it yesterday, the Arizona Corporation Commission today rebuked a plan by Arizona Public Service to end net metering.
“While APS and its national trade association EEI spent many millions attacking rooftop solar, the Arizona Corporation Commission made no changes to net metering,” said Barry Goldwater Jr., Chairman of T.U.S.K. (Tell Utilities Solar won’t be Killed). “The utilities and EEI showed just how far they are willing to go at any cost, and that is the legacy of the Arizona net metering battle–a major loss for APS and its allies.”
This decision by the ACC shows a respect for competition, customer choice, and economic growth in Arizona. Against APS’ wishes, the Commission imposed a compromise fee on solar users that is just 5% of what the utility monopoly had been seeking.
While the compromise represents a sacrifice by solar proponents, the industry can still continue to grow. It’s clear that the ACC listened to the overwhelming public outcry in support of rooftop solar. And it is an industry that was overwhelmingly supported in the fight against APS by likely Arizona voters, according to three different surveys by award-winning GOP pollster Glen Bolger of Public Opinion Strategies.
At the same time, any tax on solar hinders market growth and The Alliance for Solar Choice (T.A.S.C.) will continue its work to oppose solar taxes in other markets.
To learn more about T.U.S.K. visit www.dontkillsolar.com
T.U.S.K. believes that rooftop solar is similar to a charter school—it provides a competitive alternative to the monopoly. Monopoly utilities aren’t known for reducing costs or for driving business innovation, but the Arizona solar industry is. Solar companies have a track record of aggressive cost reduction in Arizona. The more people use rooftop solar, the less power they need to buy from the utilities. Energy independence for Arizonans means smaller profits for the utilities, so APS is doing everything it can to stop the spread of independent solar. Recently, APS has proposed a plan to tax rooftop solar out of existence.