by Will Greene
Ryan Randazzo of the Arizona Republic is reporting that Arizona Corporation Commissioner Brenda Burns will not seek a second term at the ACC, Arizona’s utility-regulatory body. Burns was elected in 2010 along with Commissioner Gary Pierce, and since that time has been viewed by many as an actively anti-solar commissioner.
Burns’ legacy to Arizona’s energy system will include a May 2012 amendment that added a new fee for families and businesses planning to install solar, amounting to monthly charges of $3.85 for residential customers, $13.71 for small businesses, $142.44 for large businesses, and $427.33 for industrial customers who install solar.
Burns supported the controversial trash incinerator proposal that allowed a Mohave County utility to count the burning of trash as renewable energy.
More recently, she voiced immediate support for Commissioner Gary Pierce’s brief flirtation with lowering Arizona’s Renewable Energy Standard (REST), and consistently voted to eliminate solar incentives ahead of schedule, including January's complete elimination of rebates for commercial solar systems.
This news leaves two seats ‘up for grabs’ in 2014 as Pierce terms off the body. Two Republicans and one Democrat have thus far filed ACC exploratory committees, indicating their interest in the seats.