Solar power is a prominent topic in Arizona given the state’s plentiful sunshine. Conversations regarding the technology are ongoing in the state legislature, regulatory agencies, and communities around the state. Arizona has been active on this topic as recently as August 2016 when the Arizona Corporation Commission approved a service fee, rejected a demand charge, and grandfathered current solar users into the state’s existing solar program.
- Current and Recent Issues:
- Arizona’s Utility Regulator Adopts New Method of Crediting Rooftop Solar: On August 15, 2016, the Arizona Corporation Commissioners approved a basic service fee of $15, down from the requested $20, and rejected the attempt to require a demand charge for all solar customers. The decision also upheld the principle of grandfathering existing solar customers into the existing regulatory and created a new paradigm for reimbursing distributed generation through a flexible credit system that would ramp down slowly as more distributed solar gets installed.
- S.B. 1465 – On May 30, 2016, Governor Doug Ducey signed S.B. 1465 into law. This bill requires solar companies to disclose the costs of leasing or owning solar panels to homeowners. Republican State Senator Debbie Lesko sponsored the bill in response to consumer complaints and to ensure that all facts given in the sales and leasing process are fair and accurate. The bill is designed to ensure consumers have reliable information before entering into long-term lease or purchase agreements worth thousands of dollars.
- Renewable Energy Standard & Tariff (REST) – In 2006, Arizona approved the REST, which requires all electric utilities to generate 15% of their energy from renewable resources by 2025.
- Legislative Activity and Committees:
- S.B. 1465 originated in Arizona’s Senate Committee on Water and Energy.
- Regulatory Agencies:
- The Arizona Corporate Commission Utilities Division oversees electric utilities and solar power. It also oversees rate cases and implements initiatives such as REST and Arizona Goes Solar, which provides consumers with information regarding all aspects of solar implementation.