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2014 Annual Report
Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Connect - December 23, 2014
Monday, 28 December 2014

Letter of Opposition to AG-1 Extension
Monday, 8 December 2014

AIC Comments on 111(d)
Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Connect - November 7, 2014
Wednesday, 12 November 2014

AIC Four Corners Surrebuttal
Monday, 21 July 2014

AIC Testimony on Four Corners
Friday, 20 June 2014

AIC Testimony on UNS/Fortis Settlement
Monday, 2 June 2014

AIC Motion to Intervene in Fortis Acquisition of UNS Energy
Wednesday, 12 March 2014

AIC Letter on Net Metering
Monday, 4 November 2013

Deregulation Responsive Comments
Thursday, 17 October 2013

Deregulation Comments
Wednesday, 9 October 2013


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TEP Selects Three Local Companies to Install Rooftop Solar for New Program
TEPTEP Selects Three Local Companies to Install Rooftop Solar for New Program 
 
TUCSON, Ariz., March 4th, 2015 --(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Tucson Electric Power (TEP) has selected three Tucson-based solar companies to install and maintain residential rooftop solar systems for the TEP Residential Solar Program. 
 
The new program will allow TEP customers to go solar with no upfront installation or maintenance costs. TEP will install rooftop solar panels at participating customers’ homes and provide their electric service for a flat monthly rate that will remain fixed for up to 25 years according to guidelines approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC). 
 
The systems will be installed and maintained for TEP by Custom Solar and Leisure, Solar Solution AZ, and Technicians for Sustainability. All three are working toward accreditation by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners, which sets high standards for experience and education in the solar industry. 
 
“These companies have a demonstrated track record of quality craftsmanship and customer service,” said Carmine Tilghman, a TEP Senior Director who oversees the company’s renewable energy programs. “Our partnership with these reputable local providers further extends TEP’s longtime support for our local green energy economy.” 
Read more...
 
SRP Approves Solar Fee and Rate Hike
SRP Approves Solar Fee and Rate Hike

SRP Solar

By: Rachel Leingang  February 26, 2015 , 4:19 pm/azcapitoltimes  -- Salt River Project’s board of directors approved a rate hike Thursday that would add a solar demand charge of about $50 on average and up to a 3.9 percent increase for all SRP users, ending a three-month process of public meetings and solar industry outcry.
 
The solar fee has drawn ire from solar companies and users in SRP territory, who say the added cost would kill the solar industry and render meaningless the cost savings solar users sought when they added panels to their roofs.
 
A rowdy crowd showed up Thursday to oppose SRP’s plan, regularly booing and questioning the utility company’s assertions that the plan won’t kill solar. Outside the meeting room, about 50 protesters gathered with signs comparing SRP’s president to Mr. Burns from “The Simpsons.” Protesters chanted “sol not coal,” “don’t rebate and switch” and “hey hey, ho ho, SRP has got to go.”
 
At the company’s private country club beside Papago Park in Tempe, dozens testified before the SRP board to oppose the rate, and the solar industry got about 30 minutes to present its case.
 
Solar advocates contend the board didn’t consider their concerns or give them enough time in public meetings to make presentations. The board never intended to budge in its proposal for solar, critics say.
 
“The fix has been in on this for a long period of time. … You still have to carry forward a fight, you have to carry forward why they’re wrong, you have to give it your best shot,” said Jason Rose, a consultant for the group Tell Utilities Solar Won’t be Killed.
 
SRP said the fee is necessary to bring revenues in line with costs of maintaining the electric grid. The board opted for a demand charge instead of a service fee, which would calculate the monthly cost for solar users based on a peak usage. That would incentivize solar customers to conserve, the utility said.
Read more...
 
Demand Charge Key to SRP Solar Rate Hike
Demand Charge Key to SRP Solar Rate Hike
Ryan Randazzo, The Republic | azcentral.com 9:42 p.m. MST February 25, 2015 -- Among several changes Salt River Project will vote on today is a "demand charge" for solar customers that will bill them based on their highest use during a 15- or 30-minute period during the month.
 
The demand charges would average about $80 a month for the average solar customer, who has a peak demand of about 8.5 kilowatts throughout the year, according to SRP. That charge could be lowered to $32 if a customer reduces peak demand to 4 kilowatts, but also could rise sharply if the demand goes higher. A 14-kilowatt peak brings a fee approaching $200 for the month, all before the costs of electricity and other services are included in the bill.
Read more...
 
With One Exception, SRP's Solar Fees Are Fair
With One Exception, SRP's Solar Fees Are Fair
Editorial board, The Republic | azcentral.com 5:42 p.m. MST February 24, 2015
Our View: Arizona isn't the only state struggling with pricing. And, as proposals go, SRP's isn't bad.
Because Arizona is uniquely conducive to solar power — one analyst decreed the state "sun blasted" — a mythology has emerged that only Arizona is suffering the growing pains of the rooftop-solar industry.
 
But nearly every state with an active residential rooftop-solar-panel market is struggling with the same set of solar issues.
Read more...
 
Corporation Commission: Arizona Should Have Fewer Water Companies
Corporation Commission: Arizona Should Have Fewer Water Companies
water-620
 
By: Rachel Leingang  February 23, 2015 , 7:45 am azcapitoltimes.com -- There are some horror stories out there: Small water companies with crumbling pipes, duct-taped together. People with water coming out of the faucet, brown and clearly undrinkable. Or people who only get water intermittently.
 
Arizona has more than 250 water companies, most of which are small, and the Arizona Corporation Commission wants fewer, from companies merging or larger companies buying smaller companies.
 
Fewer water companies could lead to better service for customers in areas with spotty reliability, and small water owners could get out of the business if they wanted, said Corporation Commission Chairman Susan Bitter Smith.
 
“And that is good for ratepayers and good for consumers,” she said.
 
Arizona’s geography likely played a role in putting the state in the position it’s in now, with a lot of small water companies that have few customers, said Steve Olea, the utilities division head at the Corporation Commission.
 
When developers set up subdivisions, they would install the water systems, too, but it wasn’t their main gig, Olea said. And sometimes farmers drilled wells to service their land, then gradually added their neighbors onto the well, and eventually they became the owners of a small water company, he said.
 
Small water company owners face a tough road, Olea said. It’s not a particularly lucrative business, and it’s hard work. Many of the owners of small water companies inherited the business from their parents or grandparents and may have no interest in running the business.
 
“So if you can get some big company that is in the water business – it’s not a side issue for them, it’s their business – if you can get them to take over these companies, they’ll be run correctly. People will have safe water. They’ll actually have water when they turn on the tap,” Olea said.
 
One horror story: Green Acres Water Company, which provides water to about 200 customers in the Yuma area, had a history of noncompliance with the commission and contaminated water issues with the Environmental Protection Agency. The company’s owner had padlocked access to pumping equipment, barring an interim manager installed by the commission from the area and shutting off service to customers, Bitter Smith said. The actions led to an emergency meeting of the commission on New Year’s Eve 2013.
 
Perhaps situations like that of Green Acres can be avoided if there are strong water companies that wanted to be in the water business, she said.
Read more...
 
Bitter Smith: Clean-Air Plan Could Threaten State's Power
Bitter Smith: Clean-Air Plan Could Threaten State’s Power
Friday, Feb. 20, 2015
By MIRANDA LEO 
 
WASHINGTON – The Arizona Corporation Commission chairman told federal regulators there is “simply no way” the state can comply with proposed new clean-air rules without “irreparable disruption” to the state power system’s reliability.
 
Susan Bitter Smith’s testimony to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission came Thursday at that agency’s hearing on the Clean Power Plan proposed by another federal office, the Environmental Protection Agency.bitter smith
 
Bitter Smith claimed that in order to meet the goals in the EPA proposal, which targets greenhouse-gas emissions, every coal-fired power plant in the state that is not on tribal land would have to shut down by 2020. That would drive up costs to consumers and leave the state’s power system in a precarious position, she testified.
 
“If we had to meet the EPA’s standards as they’re required right now … we couldn’t keep the lights on in the state,” said Bitter Smith, part of a panel testifying on environmental regulations and electric reliability.
 
The EPA said in a statement Friday that the agency is listening to all concerns about the Clean Power Plan before issuing a final rule, which is expected this summer.
 
“EPA has received more than 3.5 million comments on the proposed Clean Power Plan,” the agency’s statement said. “We will take all comments – including issues related to reliability – into careful consideration as we work toward a final rule.”
 
The proposal, released last summer, aims to cut nationwide carbon emissions 30 percent by 2030, with specific emission-reduction targets set for each state.
 
The goal for Arizona is a cut of 52 percent in the next 15 years, second-steepest in the country after only Washington state. The bulk of those reductions would have to come in the next five years.
Read more...
 

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