by Will Greene
Well-funded interests are hammering Arizona’s airwaves bringing attention to the critical question now poised at the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) – what role, if any, should rooftop solar play in Arizona’s energy future?
A TV ad spot coordinated by former Arizona House Speaker Kirk Adam’s organization “Prosper” (funding sources unknown) is claiming that hefty costs fall on the ratepaying public as a result of rooftop solar systems. 12 News reporter Brahm Resnik explored the credibility of assertions made in the ad - statements originally made by APS CEO Don Brandt - in a must-watch segment yesterday (click here to view Resnik's report).
To summarize - APS has proposed to the ACC a $50-100 per month rate hike for households that install solar. Thanks to Resnik’s digging we now know that costs solar owners incur on the grid - decried by Prosper and APS - equate to roughly $19 per year for the average ratepayer. That is $1.58 per month from ratepayers in order to cover the grid-support needs of rooftop solar, or in other words, a rounding error on many Arizonan’s utility bills.
It’s important to point out that the $1.58 per month number is derived from APS’ own study – a study that did not take into account societal and grid benefits of rooftop solar - such as the reduced need for transmission lines and power plants when electricity is generated on rooftops close-to or on-top-of where it is consumed.
Don’t hold your breath waiting for APS to also consider the enormous health and environmental benefits of clean energy.
ACC staff are now reviewing the APS proposal, with a final vote from the five Commissioners not expected until December at the earliest.
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