Multi-party rate case settlement will spread benefits of solar to working families
Up to $45 million slated to put solar on low-to-moderate income households
Phoenix, Arizona: The benefits of rooftop solar are about to broaden substantially in the state of Arizona, thanks to a groundbreaking decision regarding how utility customers pay for their electricity and gain access to solar installation for their own homes. A new proposed settlement to the Arizona Public Service (APS) rate case, in which ConservAmerica was a key intervener, will make installing rooftop solar more affordable for working families. The settlement must be approved later this year by the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) in order to go into effect.
ConservAmerica, the leading voice for conservative and market-based solutions to environmental challenges, joined with several other entities in advocacy for the Arizona Blue Collar Solar program, which will invest up to $45 million in solar solutions for families with low to moderate incomes, and for making payment for solar electricity more equitable among households with and without rooftop solar. Paul Walker, Executive Director of ConservAmerica and an Arizona resident, led the organization’s efforts to spread the environmental and economic benefits of rooftop solar more equitably among his fellow citizens.
“Arizona has the chance to become the national leader in assuring access for all to rooftop solar,” explained Walker. “And, with the proposed settlement of the APS rate case, we’re also eliminating the unfair cost shift that forced blue- collar families to pay more for electricity while having limited chances to install rooftop solar on their own homes.”
“Over 95 percent of rooftop solar installations in the U.S. have gone on the homes of the wealthiest 60 percent of households,” noted Congresswoman Nan Hayworth, ConservAmerica Chair, “yet every consumer has to pay the taxes and surcharges that support rooftop solar. APS’s Sun II program will even the playing field for families with low and moderate incomes.”
“ConservAmerica will now work beyond our success in the APS rate case to ensure that more states follow Arizona’s lead and approve their own Blue Collar Solar programs,” Hayworth continued. “Allowing every household the chance to have rooftop solar at an affordable rate is the American way.”
Walker emphasized that both of ConservAmerica’s objectives as an intervener in the Arizona rate case have been met, pending a key approval: “First, to provide a way for low and moderate income households to get rooftop solar, which has been accomplished by APS’s providing up to $45 million for that purpose. Second, to address the cost shift between solar and non-solar homes so that everyone pays their fair share. The settlement achieves both goals, and we urge the ACC to approve it.”
ConservAmerica joined APS, the Arizona Community Action Alliance, the Residential Utility Consumers Office, Arizona Corporation Commission Staff, the Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association, the Arizona Solar Deployment Alliance, and the Energy Freedom Coalition of America in achieving this innovative settlement. As an intervener, ConservAmerica filed two rounds of testimony prior to the beginning of the settlement negotiations.
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About ConservAmerica: ConservAmerica is a 501(c)4 organization whose mission is to facilitate conservative and market-based solutions to environmental challenges. For over twenty years we’ve worked with Congress, state governments, and the public on innovative approaches to conservation and energy that respect both our natural resources and our economic resources. To learn more, visit: www.conservamerica.org
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