ACC approves solar fee for new customers only

The Arizona Corporation Commission, by a vote of 3-2 Thursday, approved changes to the rules and rates applying to rooftop solar in the Arizona Public Service territory. Chairman Bob Stump and commissioners Susan Bitter-Smith and Bob Burns voted in favor; commissioners Gary Pierce and Brenda Burns voted against the motion.

A fee of 70 cents per kilowatt/per month will take effect on Jan 1, 2014, for all new solar rooftop customers. The charge to new solar customers will average $4.48 per month. The fee will be in place until the next APS rate case can address the issue of cost-shift in greater detail.

Commissioners also agreed to review the rate of solar adoption on a quarterly basis and consider any adjustment to the fee at that time.

All rooftop solar homeowners as of Dec. 31, 2013, will be grandfathered under the existing rules and rates.

APS opposed the final proposal as not being in the best interest of its customers. The solar industry and the Residential Utility Consumer Office and ACC staff agreed to the final solution.

"While it is an interim solution, this compromise provides certainty for homeowners, installers, utility and ratepayers," said Jim Arwood, communications director for the Arizona Solar Center. "The industry testified that 70 cents would not kill solar in Arizona. Plus, there was agreement to have a broader discussion in the next rate case where so many additional options can be explored. The (ACC) also honored an action take by a previous commissions by upholding rates and rules that apply to existing rooftop solar homeowners."

For more information, contact the Arizona Solar Center at 602-468-1702.


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