In fairness to customers and to uphold Arizona's leadership in solar power, Arizona Public Service Company (APS) asked the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) late last week to hold “cost of service” hearings, postponing its previously requested grid-access fee increase.
If the ACC accepts the recommendation, the hearings would not lead to any electric-rate changes. Instead, they would establish actual costs for APS to serve customers with rooftop solar power.
APS has requested a decision by March 2016 so that results can be incorporated into its next rate case. In a Friday statement, APS lamented the complexities and delays involved in ACC’s decision-making: “Unfortunately, what should have been a relatively simple decision-making process has been turned into political theater by attacks and distortions from rooftop solar leasing companies that seek to paralyze Arizona regulators.”
Describing its desire for a simpler alternative, APS asks the ACC to open the floor to discussions about pricing-update procedures in an effort to become more attuned to state-of-the-art energy solutions and innovations such as rooftop solar, battery storage and home energy management systems.
“Arizona's solar leadership is not sustainable without addressing the unfair cost shift, and waiting only increases the burden on average electricity customers. It is urgent we move forward now,” the APS stated, citing its responsibility to provide its customers safe and reliable electricity, to continue advocating for Arizona’s place as a role model for solar leadership, and to protect the interests of Arizona consumers.