SEIA axes the grid access charge in Arizona

(Disclosure: Rose Law Group represents the Solar Energy Industries Association.)

PHOENIX and WASHINGTON, D.C. — Wednesday the Arizona Corporation Commission decided to eliminate a decade-old grid access fee for residential solar customers in Arizona. The grid access fee, which was imposed by Arizona Public Service, averaged about $100 per year per solar customer and unfairly targeted solar customers under the guise that it cost more to provide them with electricity service.

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) testified against the charges in October 2020 and December 2020 and demonstrated that solar customers paid their fair share of grid costs compared to non-solar customers. In addition, SEIA was able to demonstrate that APS’ claims about increased service costs for solar customers were unsubstantiated.

Following is a statement from Sara Birmingham, senior director of state policy, West at SEIA on this important development in Arizona:

“Today, Arizona got rid of an unjustified and outdated charge that has been a drag on the Arizona solar economy.

“Nearly a decade ago, the Arizona Corporation Commission imposed an unfair grid access charge for solar customers, after Arizona Public Service stated that it cost more money to serve solar customers. SEIA testified during this case and was able to prove that solar customers in Arizona pay their fair share of grid costs and do not introduce additional costs to other customers.

“We are at a point in our country where we need to focus on deploying more clean energy and unnecessary utility charges and fees can be a major deterrent to potential solar customers. This change will more fairly recognize the benefits of local solar adoption and we hope we can expand solar accessibility to even more Arizonans.

“We commend the commission for reversing course on this harmful and discriminatory charge for residential solar customers in Arizona.”

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