Finally! Arizona net metering fight defusedâ€¦ for now
By: SGN Staff
Quick Take: If youâ€™ve been following the residential solar net metering controversy, you know itâ€™s a hot issue. And a lot of the heat has been concentrated in Arizona where utility Arizona Public Service Company filed a request with state regulators to lower the above-market prices they pay for electricity generated by privately owned rooftop solar panels. The rooftop solar industry, of course, has been fighting back.
Last week, the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) voted on a plan that imposes a â€œmodestâ€ fee on new residential solar owners. The regulatorsâ€™ compromise seems to end the battleâ€¦ at least for the time being.
The ACC ruled in a 3-2 vote that the stateâ€™s net metering program should more fairly spread the cost of maintaining a reliable electric grid among all of the utilityâ€™s customers. As of Jan. 1, 2014, a rate of $0.70 per kilowatt will be charged, meaning a new rooftop solar customer could expect to pay about $4.90 per month for their use of the grid. The rates will be in effect until January 2015 when APS will file its next case, as directed by the commission.
Essentially, commissioners agreed that non-solar customers have been paying more toward the cost of grid maintenance.