The Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association (AriSEIA) is a non-profit trade association representing local, national and international solar companies in the Arizona market. The group's focus is on education, professionalism and promotion of public policies that support deployment of solar technologies in Arizona.
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AriSEIA Preferred Solar Installers (PSI) are Arizona's most qualified, professional, and ethical solar companies. Each Preferred Solar Installer is licensed, bonded, insured, demonstrates technical excellence, and is committed to the highest ethical standards.
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Phoenix, AZ March 25, 2015. Tucson Electric Power today joined SRP, APS, and Arizona’s electric cooperatives in their coordinated attacks on rooftop solar. TEP filed an Application with the Arizona Corporation Commission today that eliminates net metering and replaces it with an unsteady and unpredictable compensation program designed to make it impossible for solar customers to predict the value of their solar investment over time. So, while TEP will continue to enjoy its guaranteed rate of return on its investments, solar customers would be subject to an annual adjustment mechanism that starts by paying them less than their delivered solar power is worth in year one and only gets lower over time.
“This is just another example of an Arizona utility working to undermine its perceived competition and hurting Arizona in the process,” said Mark Holohan, President of AriSEIA. “TEP is asking that is customers with solar to sign up to a level of uncertainty and risk that TEP itself would never tolerate with its investments. The act of annually recalculating the amount paid for its customers’ solar energy makes it impossible for customers to make calculated investment in solar,” Holohan continued; “and this appears to be the point of the proposal; start by undervaluing clean solar power and get lower over time.”
Court Rich, attorney with the Rose Law Group and Vice President of the Board of AriSEIA said, “Independent studies across the Country have determined that solar energy is a benefit to ratepayers but all TEP, APS, and SRP see is a threat to their revenue. This Application is part of a coordinated effort by SRP, APS, and TEP to kill the independent solar industry in Arizona. At some point we have to say enough is enough. Let’s not let these government backed monopolies turn Arizona into the laughing stock of the USA by allowing them to own the power from the sun. Only in the twisted mind of a monopoly utility executive would it make sense to take the state’s greatest asset; abundant sunshine, and declare war on it.”
AriSEIA is gravely concerned about job losses that will be associated with this now statewide attack on solar. Rich warned, “We have nearly 10,000 solar employees in Arizona but this statewide attack on solar can only go on so long before businesses pull out saying, ‘you may have the sun, but your utilities are too shady’ and we see mass job losses.”
PHOENIX, AZ, FEBRUARY 26, 2015. In a 12-2 vote and amidst complaints from customers, lawsuit threats, and reports from several states and research groups proving there is no cost shift, the Salt River Project Board of Directors formally killed residential rooftop solar in its service territory. The result is the killing of businesses, jobs, opportunity and economic growth that results from participating in one of the fastest growing industry sectors on the planet. The meeting was full of complaints of a broken process, disenfranchised customers with no say in the public process, and a management run amok.
“To say we’re disappointed in the Board’s decision is an understatement,” said Mark Holohan, President of AriSEIA. “Instead of developing a strategy that allowed their ratepayers an opportunity to take advantage of Arizona’s greatest natural resource, they have arbitrarily placed the highest tax in the country on anyone who wants to go solar. The result will be the elimination of free energy choice in SRP territory and an angering of SRP customers who will likely move to replace the board with more thoughtful and forward-thinking members.”
According to SRP, home and business owners with rooftop solar systems use less power than those without, and therefore shift costs onto those who do not. This view ignores studies conducted by public utility commissions in California, Michigan, Nevada, New York, and Vermont, and studies from Lawrence Berkeley Labs, the Rocky Mountain Institute, the National Renewable Energy Lab, and others that come to exactly the opposite conclusion.
Court Rich, AriSEIA Vice President added, “Now we know what it looks like when utility executives get to set public policy unfettered and unchecked by any regulatory body and with no accountability. This rubber stamping of a complicated and discriminatory rate program designed by utility executives to wipe out the rooftop solar industry is low point in the formerly proud history of SRP. We already know that a $50 a month charge makes rooftop solar uneconomical so there is no mystery about the devastating impact this will have on solar jobs and Arizona’s reputation.”
AriSEIA is committed to educating and organizing solar customers and businesses in Arizona and being their voice for rational, fact-based energy policies in Arizona.