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(PHOENIX) A new attack aimed at the rooftop solar industry has arrived on Governor Doug Ducey’s desk. A coalition of rooftop solar companies and Arizona’s industry trade group has sent the Governor a letter urging him to veto this anti-business legislation.
SB1417 places the state government squarely in the middle of the conflict between solar and utilities. It’s no secret that if you produce our own power, you buy less from the utility. The solar industry enables customers the choice to create their own power and are consequently the target of a bill that does little to protect consumers as it claims, but a lot to deter customers from installing solar and increasing costs to the solar industry.
The bill would increase costs for solar companies and customers, and likely increase the time it takes for consumers to get rooftop solar. It’s anathema to all Governor Ducey has stated since taking office trying to cut regulations that stifle innovation and make Arizona less-business friendly.
The bill could lead to even more Arizona job losses in an industry that has been under attack from utility monopolies. Arizona lost nearly 2,300 solar jobs since 2015 according to The Solar Foundation. Arizona used to be ranked second the nation in solar jobs with nearly 10,000. The state now ranks 7th.
The bill is not only anti-business, it also violates Governor Ducey’s moratorium on regulatory rulemaking. In reissuing that moratorium in February, Governor Ducey said, “Arizona is poised to lead the nation in job growth and I want to ensure government is doing all it can to get out of the way of business.”
A coalition of solar companies and the respected trade group AriSEIA (Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association) sent Governor Ducey a letter today urging his veto. The letter points out rooftop solar is already heavily regulated, the industry self-regulates with strict protocols, and the Attorney General is already empowered to penalize any isolated bad actors in the industry.
The letter goes on to say, “Your support of ride-sharing services, such as Uber, and your regulatory moratorium send positive messages to the marketplace that Arizona is open for business. Solar is part of a flourishing technological revolution nationwide that shows great growth potential right here in Arizona. Solar is ready to bring more good paying jobs, more state and local economic development, and more high-tech leadership to the state. Yet SB 1417 would have a chilling effect on businesses that employ a meaningful workforce of nearly 7,000 Arizonans.”