Current Utility News
Current News

AIC Briefs

AIC Intervention in UNS-Electric Rate Case
Tuesday, 21 July 2015

AIC Supports APS Net Metering Cost Shift Solution
Friday, 05 June 2015

AIC Supports TEP Net Metering Tariff
Monday, 1 June 2015

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

AIC Comments on 111(d)
Tuesday, 2 December 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 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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Solar Can Raise Home Values — If You Own the System
Solar Can Raise Home Values — If You Own the System
Ryan Randazzo and Catherine Reagor, The Republic | azcentral.com 2:52 p.m. MST July 17, 2015
 
solar front pageThe metro Phoenix real-estate market is heating up, with sellers having little problem getting the asking price for their houses.
 
So when Paradise Valley Realtor Russell Shaw had a client list a home with him in a trendy neighborhood near Tatum and Shea boulevards, he expected a quick sale. But a problem arose.
 
The seller wanted $439,000, about $30,000 more than Shaw thought was fair, because the homeowner recently had entered a 20-year lease with SolarCity Corp. for rooftop solar panels. The seller thought the panels should be an asset. But any buyer would need to qualify to take over the lease and assume the payments of about $120 a month.
 
"The seller was completely irrational," said Shaw, who convinced the client to take the home off the market after more than two months with no offers. It's the second time that's happened to him in recent months.
 
"He said, 'This lowers the utility bill, and you Realtors need to explain that to people,'" Shaw said. "The problem is not my inability to communicate. The problem is consumers are not interested in paying for solar."
Read more...
 
Customers Flock to New TEP Solar Program
Customers Flock to New TEP Solar Program
By: Rachel Leingang Arizona Capitol Times  July 20, 2015 , 8:02 am
tep solar
When Tucson Electric Power opened up spots in its brand-new rooftop solar program on July 1, the utility received 200 applications within the first half-hour.
 
The rooftop program was so popular that even before any panels have been installed on rooftops, TEP asked the Arizona Corporation Commission to expand it to more customers.
 
TEP and Arizona Public Service both ventured into owning rooftop solar with small programs launched this year, but some say the utilities have an unfair advantage over private solar companies.
 
TEP’s $10 million program will add solar panels to about 500 customers’ rooftops this year. The utility will own the panels and any electricity they create. The customers will get a fixed rate for electricity for the next 25 years, even if electricity rates increase. The utility proposes adding 1,000 more customers and $15 million next year.
 
“Our customers are clearly enthusiastic about this new affordable solar energy option,” David Hutchens, TEP’s president and CEO, said in a press release announcing the potential expansion. “The TEP Residential Solar Program offers homeowners a personal stake in our plan to expand our community’s renewable energy resources.”
 
APS’s rooftop solar program will install panels on 1,500 homes, which APS will own and operate, and the electricity will flow directly onto the grid instead of being used on-site. In exchange, the customers get a $30 credit on their monthly bills for 20 years. APS installed panels on the first customer’s house on July 10.
Read more...
 
SRP Partners With Renewable Energy Company to Break Ground of 45-Megawatt Solar Facility in Florence
SRP Partners With Renewable Energy Company to Break Ground of 45-Megawatt Solar Facility in Florence
Lauren Gilger
2:12 PM, Jul 14, 2015
 
SRPSolar
 
Florence residents are about to get a new solar power facility in their backyard.
 
Salt Lake City based renewable energy company sPower broke ground on a new 45-megawatt Sandstone Solar project in Florence, AZ Monday.
 
The new facility will be able to provide enough to power more than 8,000 homes that are serviced by Salt River Project (SRP), according to a press release .
 
It’s expected to reduce carbon emissions by more than 88,000 metric tons annually. That’s the same as taking almost 19,000 cars off of the road each year, according to sPower.
 
The new facility is the result of a 21-year power purchase between sPower and SRP and it is set to start delivering clean energy by the end of the year.
 
In February, SRP approved a new rate plan that required customers who install their own solar panels on their homes to pay a $50 monthly fee.
Read more...
 
Looming End of Federal Subsidy Poses Challenge for Solar Industry
Looming End of Federal Subsidy Poses Challenge for Solar Industry
By: Rachel Leingang  July 13, 2015 , 7:37 am
 
Solar-Panels-sky
The future of solar in Arizona is getting a bit cloudy.
 
Facing the end of a major federal subsidy and utilities pushing policy changes to limit savings homeowners with solar panels will receive through net metering, solar companies nevertheless say they will be able to survive – without subsidies.
 
The federal investment tax credit currently provides solar customers with a 30-percent reduction in income taxes associated with solar panels. The tax credit will expire at the end of 2016 for residential solar users and reduce to 10 percent for commercial solar – unless Congress votes to extend it.
 
“It’s devastating. Most industry observers believe if it isn’t extended, there will be quite a big loss of solar market activity,” said Mark Holohan, president of the Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association.
 
Local utility subsidies in Arizona have mostly gone away over the past few years, leaving the federal tax credit one of the last remaining up-front incentives for people looking to go solar.
 
In 2008 and 2009, Arizona Public Service offered $3 per watt – $21,000 on an average-sized 7-kilowatt system – for its residential customers to install solar.
 
APS has given $198 million in up-front incentives for solar since 2008, benefitting 23,512 customers, the utility said.
 
By the end of 2012, the upfront incentive was down to 10 cents per watt, and eventually down to zero by late 2013.
Read more...
 
1st Free APS-Owned Rooftop Solar Installed in Phoenix
1st Free APS-Owned Rooftop Solar Installed in Phoenix
randazzo-ryan Ryan Randazzo, The Republic | azcentral.com 9:24 p.m. MST July 10, 2015
 
aps solarArizona Public Service Co. installed the first of 1,500 free residential solar projects Friday, extending the utility's foray into owning distributed power sources.
 
APS in 2009 launched a pilot project in Flagstaff, where it owns the solar panels on 125 customer homes and the homeowners get a discount on power.
 
The company won approval last year to expand on that concept and install free solar on houses in metro Phoenix for a cost of about $28.5 million.
 
The customers will not get the electricity, which would reduce their power bills substantially, but they will be paid a $30 monthly credit for 20 years, or $7,200 over the life of the program.
 
Those savings are greater than the $5 to $10 most customers who lease solar panels save monthly, according to SolarCity Corp., the largest residential rooftop installer in the state and nation.
Read more...
 
TEP Proposes New, Expanded Solar Energy Options for Customers in 2016
TEP Blast
TEP Proposes New, Expanded Solar Energy Options for Customers in 2016 
TUCSON, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Tucson Electric Power (TEP) is seeking to expand a popular new solar power program while providing another innovative solar choice for customers in 2016 as part of its plan to exceed Arizona’s renewable energy goals. 
 
The renewable energy plan TEP filed last week with the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) includes a proposal to add up to 1000 new participants in the TEP Residential Solar Program. The program, made available this year to approximately 500 homeowners, provides fixed-price electric service using solar arrays installed on customers’ homes. 
 
The program’s popularity was evident last week when the first 200 available reservations were booked less than half an hour after the online form was made available at noon on July 1. Additional applications will be accepted in August and September from customers who have registered their interest in the program at tep.com. 
 
“Our customers are clearly enthusiastic about this new affordable solar energy option,” said David Hutchens, TEP’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “The TEP Residential Solar Program offers homeowners a personal stake in our plan to expand our community’s renewable energy resources.” 
Read more...
 
Cogent: SW Gas, SRP Ranked in U.S. Top 10 for Utility Trust
Cogent: SW Gas, SRP Ranked in U.S. Top 10 for Utility Trust
Jun 30, 2015, 2:34pm MST
Eric Jay Toll
COGENT
Two Arizona utilities ranked high in consumer and shareholder trust, a measure that could help their bottom line, according to a new study by Cogent Reports.
 
Salt River Project and Las Vegas-based Southwest Gas, which serves Phoenix and Arizona, were among the top 17, according to the report. Southwest Gas boasting the second highest U.S. consumer trust score, 60.4%. SRP was ranked No. 6 with 57.2 percent.
 
Neither Arizona Public Service nor Tucson Electric Power made the list.
Read more...
 
TEP Committed to Affordable Solar Power for Community
TEP Committed to Affordable Solar Power for Community

Dave Hutchens

By David Hutchens Special to the Arizona Daily Star / June 29, 2015
 
As a parent and a longtime employee of Tucson Electric Power, I’m always happy to see young people become engaged in our efforts to serve our community’s long-term energy needs.
 
Driven by a desire to protect the planet they’ll share with their own children, teens like the young author of the column “TEP solar proposal hurts working class, clean energy jobs” from June 18 are enthusiastic about renewable energy and anxious to leave fossil fuels behind.
 
TEP shares those same ideals, and we’re putting those ideals into action.
 
Our first step is making sure our rates are fair and affordable for all customers, especially those with limited incomes. Arizona’s net-metering rule increases costs for working-class families by forcing them to subsidize higher-income customers with better credit scores who can afford to buy or lease solar arrays.
 
Under current rules, TEP pays net-metered customers nearly twice as much for their excess energy as we pay for the output of large, community-scale solar arrays. Those overpayments increase our rates, since all TEP’s service costs are ultimately passed along to customers. By paying the same fair price for all the solar energy we purchase, we can limit the costs borne by our community’s most vulnerable residents while increasing the resources available for more cost-effective solar solutions.
Read more...
 
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