TEP Joins Other Arizona Utilities in Fight Against Solar

NEWS RELEASE – Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association

PHOENIX, AZ, March 25, 2015. Tucson Electric Power today joined SRP, APS, and Arizona’s electric cooperatives in their coordinated attacks on rooftop solar. TEP filed an Application with the Arizona Corporation Commission today that eliminates net metering and replaces it with an unsteady and unpredictable compensation program designed to make it impossible for solar customers to predict the value of their solar investment over time. So, while TEP will continue to enjoy its guaranteed rate of return on its investments, solar customers would be subject to an annual adjustment mechanism that starts by paying them less than their delivered solar power is worth in year one and only gets lower over time.

“This is just another example of an Arizona utility working to undermine its perceived competition and hurting Arizona in the process,” said Mark Holohan, President of AriSEIA. “TEP is asking that is customers with solar to sign up to a level of uncertainty and risk that TEP itself would never tolerate with its investments. The act of annually recalculating the amount paid for its customers’ solar energy makes it impossible for customers to make calculated investment in solar,” Holohan continued; “and this appears to be the point of the proposal; start by undervaluing clean solar power and get lower over time.”

Court Rich, attorney with the Rose Law Group and Vice President of the Board of AriSEIA said, “Independent studies across the Country have determined that solar energy is a benefit to ratepayers but all TEP, APS, and SRP see is a threat to their revenue. This Application is part of a coordinated effort by SRP, APS, and TEP to kill the independent solar industry in Arizona. At some point we have to say enough is enough. Let’s not let these government backed monopolies turn Arizona into the laughing stock of the USA by allowing them to own the power from the sun. Only in the twisted mind of a monopoly utility executive would it make sense to take the state’s greatest asset; abundant sunshine, and declare war on it.”

AriSEIA is gravely concerned about job losses that will be associated with this now statewide attack on solar. Rich warned, “We have nearly 10,000 solar employees in Arizona but this statewide attack on solar can only go on so long before businesses pull out saying, ‘you may have the sun, but your utilities are too shady’ and we see mass job losses.”

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