Arizona Public Service Co., the largest utility company in Arizona, announced recently that they will withdraw their proposed increase of fee for solar customers after receiving heavy opposition from local groups, according to AZ Central.
Earlier in the year, the utility company asked regulators to raise the monthly fee on new solar customers for the use of the power grid during the day when their solar panels aren’t providing them with enough energy. The proposed increase will raise the fee for new solar customers from about $5 a month to an average of about $21.
“Unfortunately, what should have been a relatively simple decision-making process has been turned into political theater by attacks and distortions from rooftop solar leasing companies that seek to paralyze Arizona regulators,” says APS spokesman Jim McDonald.
The Washington Times reports that the proposal set off a fight on the Arizona Corporation Commission, which controls the state’s utility services. It also caused a stir in the local rooftop solar industry.
Instead of the proposed raise of fee, the company is now asking regulators to hold a study that determines the cost of providing power to their solar customers. Currently, a solar PV system is installed every four minutes as more customers make the switch from their dependence on grid power.
”We hope our proposal will provide an alternative for the ACC to move forward with a much-needed discussion about how to update electricity pricing to reflect energy innovations like rooftop solar, battery storage and home energy management systems,” said the company in a recent statement.
Officials of the company hope that the evidence that the regulators collect will be enough to raise the solar power fee as they have requested. They expect that the proposal will bring about dramatic changes in the way that solar customers are provided with electricity off the grid.