The fight over how much the state’s largest utility has to pay for electricity generated by private solar roof top panels got under way today. The Arizona Corporation Commission kicked off a hearing on net metering.
Arizona Public Service wants to lower the rate it pays to owners of those panels. Allan Heffler said even though he is not an APS customer he opposes the utility’s plan.
“What are they proposing? A rate increase for new solar rooftop customers. A rate increase that should be handled through the regular rate hearing process, as recommended by staff,” Heffler said. “What is the rush? APS is not a small company that needs more money to provide service.”
But not everyone agreed. David Getz works in the utility industry. He says APS must recover its costs for power lines and infrastructure construction.
“Without a change in the APS rate design and as rooftop solar continues to grow in the AP service territory, this unrecovered costs has to be paid by someone. That someone will be those APS customer who do not have rooftop solar,” Getz said.
Corporation commission staff has rejected the APS request and recommended that any changes be postponed until the utility’s next rate hearing in 2015. Commissioners could change the rate known as, net metering, ahead of that date.