Current Utility News
Current News

AIC Briefs

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


Conferences

Click the links below to watch the upcoming debate or watch the archived debated.

debate-webcast-july2014

 

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SRP Solar Plan Promotes Free Markets
SRP Solar Plan Promotes Free Markets

jan srp

Thayer Verschoor, AZ I See It , azcentral.com 8:35 p.m. MST January 4, 2015 --  As a free-market, constitutional conservative, I agree with Barry Goldwater Jr. ("SRP solar fees ruin its reputation," Dec. 12, AZ I See It) on two points when it comes to Salt River Project's new solar price structure:
 
-- The community-based, non-profit utility has a sterling reputation as a provider of affordable, reliable power in Arizona.
 
-- The solar energy industry can now afford to stand without subsidies.
 
Unfortunately, that's where our agreement ends.
Read more...
 
Solar Advocates Optimistic for Industry in 2015
Solar Advocates Optimistic for Industry in 2015

Solar Article

Story By Mark Remillard, ktar.com|December 30, 2014 @ 5:00 am --  PHOENIX -- Despite some ups and downs in 2014, some solar advocates say they are optimistic about the future of the industry in 2015.
 
Advocates such as Bret Fanshaw with Environment Arizona said he has seen far more growth in solar energy than he could have expected over the past few years and that includes 2014.
 
"Over the last three years Arizona (solar) grew on average at 142 percent per year in the state and so it's really taking off," he said.
 
Part of the industry's boom is thanks to many of Arizona's city governments jumping on board and opting to use clean energy.
 
"In the face of some opposition at the state level to advancing solar, local government is really taking on solar energy as an option to power their cities," Fanshaw said. "We've seen officials in Mesa, Mayor Mark Mitchell in Tempe and some folks in Phoenix really working to make sure we're moving solar and clean energy forward at the local levels."
 
In March, Tempe completed its largest solar project to date by powering its South Water Treatment Plant with solar energy, while earlier this year Mesa installed solar systems on one of the city's fire and police stations as well as on a multigenerational center.
 
Some public utilities have also given advocates such as Fanshaw reason to be optimistic with increased incentive programs for solar customers.
Read more...
 
Q & A with Secretary of State Ken Bennett
bennett article pic
Q & A with Secretary of State Ken Bennett
By: Gary Grado/Arizona Capitol Times/azcapitoltimes.com/December 29, 2014 , 4:52 am -- Secretary of State Ken Bennett isn’t ready to ride off into the sunset after a nearly 30-year career of political and appointed office, but he’s not trying to execute a grand plan of attaining high political office either.
 
Bennett, who lost in the Republican gubernatorial primary, sat with the Arizona Capitol Times on Dec. 18 for an exit interview, and spoke about his accomplishments since he took office in 2009 as an appointee of Gov. Jan Brewer, his failed bid for governor and other topics, including his desire to record his parody songs making fun of Arizona’s political scene.
Read more...
 
Rooftop Solar Rules on Table Again
Rooftop-Solar Rules on Table Again
Solar ArticleRyan Randazzo, The Republic | azcentral.com 10:08 p.m. MST December 26, 2014 -- When utility regulators scheduled a meeting two days before the Christmas holiday and decided to discuss possibly repealing the state requirement for rooftop solar, it raised eyebrows in the industry.
 
Arizona requires utilities get increasing amounts of their power from renewable sources until 2025, when they are required to get 15 percent from those sources. Thirty percent of that renewable energy, or 4.5 percent of the total energy load, must come from distributed sources, rather than large, centralized power plants.
 
The distributed-generation requirement, or DG carve-out, has helped create a booming rooftop solar industry in the state since the rules passed in 2006.
 
When the meeting agenda showed the commissioners would discuss repealing the DG carve-out, many observers of the Arizona Corporation Commission had flashbacks to September 2013. During a normally routine staff meeting that month, after months of planning and with months more scheduled to discuss deregulating electric utilities, the commissioners voted to kill the effort.
 
But the five elected commissioners didn't vote to kill the rooftop solar rules at their final meeting of the year, which was the last meeting for commissioners Gary Pierce and Brenda Burns. The issue was put off until next year when Tom Forese and Doug Little take their spots on the board.
Read more...
 
Regulators Approve Tucson Utility Rooftop Solar Plan
Regulators Approve Tucson Utility’s Rooftop Solar Plan
TEP Solar
 
By: Luige del Puerto/azcapitoltimes.com/December 19, 2014 , 7:59 am
 
Energy regulators yesterday approved a proposal by Southern Arizona’s largest electricity provider to install solar panels on homes, a move that was heavily opposed by the rooftop solar industry.
 
The $10 million project allows Tucson Electric Power to produce 3.5 megawatts of energy from the roofs of roughly 600 homes.
 
“Our program will provide additional customer choice and new green energy options for our customers,” said TEP executive Philip Dion. “Participation will not be limited by customers’ FICO credit scores, which opens the program to many Tucson residents who do not qualify for private solar leases.”
 
The final vote was 4-1. Commissioner Brenda Burns dissented, arguing that the spending is unnecessary given the rate of solar rooftop installation by private companies.
Read more...
 
SRP Releases Details of Proposed Rate Hike
SRP Releases Details of Proposed Rate Hike
SRP PictureRyan Randazzo, The Republic | azcentral.com 6:34 p.m. MST December 16, 2014 -- Salt River Project officials are asking the utility's elected board of directors for a $110 million annual increase in rates that would kick in this spring, mostly to pay for coal and gas plants.

A customer using 1,110 kilowatt-hours a month on the basic price plan (E-23) would see bills increase $4.61 a month.

However, because customers use much more electricity in the summer than the winter, the increases will be greater during the warmer months.
 
For basic price plan customers, the average summer bill would increase to $181.46 from $175.25 today. Winter bills would increase to $84.25 from $81.25 today.
 
A customer on the time-of-use program (E-26) using 1,787 kilowatt-hours per month in summer would see an average bill increase of $8.23, or about 5 percent.
 
The time-of-use summer average bill for a customer using 2,015 kilowatt-hours a month would increase to $237.62 from $226.49 today.
 
Customers on this plan on average use more electricity, which is why their bills are higher on average. SRP estimates customers on this plan save more than 7 percent on their bills by shifting electricity use to nighttime and the early morning, when rates are much lower.
Read more...
 
Gosar, Other Lawmakers Raise Concerns with Solar Leases
Gosar, Other Lawmakers Raise Concerns with Solar Leases
Ryan Randazzo, The Republic | azcentral.com 6:26 p.m. MST December 16, 2014 -- U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar has joined a growing chorus of officials concerned with solar leases, and asked the Federal Trade Commission to look into the industry in a letter co-signed by several other Republicans.
 
Solar leases are a popular option for homeowners who do not want to pay upfront for rooftop solar panels, and for non-profits or government facilities that can't take advantage of federal tax credits when they install solar.
 
The leasing companies are able to capture those subsidies and offer solar for no money down or little upfront investment for customers.
 
Gosar's letter, also signed by Arizona Republicans Trent Franks, Matt Salmon and nine other congressmen from around the country, adds to comments from a growing number of elected officials and regulators concerned with the ethics of the solar-leasing industry.
 
"Of particular concern is the possibility that these third-party leasing companies may be utilizing deceptive marketing strategies that overstate the savings the homeowner will receive, while understating the risks associated with agreeing to a decades-long lease that is often secured by a second deed of trust to the house — a financial commitment that will likely exceed both the life of the roof and duration of the lessor's home ownership," Gosar wrote.
 
The leases commonly have terms of 20 years and require monthly payments. The tricky part for consumers is calculating whether those payments will be less than the amount of money they save by generating much of their own electricity with solar.
Read more...
 
SCHOA Wants In-Depth Wastewater Case Review
SCHOA Wants In-Depth Wastewater Case Review

epcor picture

By Rusty Bradshaw/Independent Newsmedia, Inc. USA/arizonanewszap.com/Updated December 16, 2014/SUN CITY, Ariz. -- The Arizona Corporation Commission will vote this week on a proposed interim agreement that will change the format for EPCOR Water Co.’s existing wastewater rate increase and consolidation request.
 
Commissioners were scheduled to vote Thursday, Dec. 18 on the agreement that would have customers in the Sun City Wastewater District pay an additional $4 per month for their sewer and Sun City West customers an additional $1.50 monthly until the matter is settled. The agreement would avoid even higher increases if the ACC were to have approved this month full consolidation of five water districts served by EPCOR, according to Sun Cities representatives.
 
“If the Commission were to move in favor of full consolidation it would almost immediately cost the Sun City ratepayer $16 per month, not the interim $4 per month,” said Greg Eisert, Sun City Home Owners Association board member and chair of SCHOA’s Governmental Affairs Committee.
Read more...
 
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