Press Release: AriSEIA Statement on APS/Solar Industry Settlement Agreement

Contact: Lucy Mason
Cell: 928.925.3671
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.ariseia.org

 

PHOENIX, AZ, March 1, 2017 The Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association (AriSEIA) announced today that it has agreed to terms on a comprehensive settlement of the ongoing and contentious Arizona Public Service (APS) rate case.  While the settlement's terms are expected to result in an unfortunate shrinking of Arizona's solar industry, the terms are expected to allow the industry to survive in a state that has seen much controversy around solar in recent years.  "The future of Arizona's solar industry was very much on the line in this case and while this settlement doesn't help Arizona solar grow, it allows solar to remain a viable option for some Arizonans" said Brandon Cheshire of Sun Harvest Solar, President of the Board of AriSEIA.  
 
"AriSEIA is hopeful that the settlement will put an end to years of attacks on the rooftop solar industry in Arizona" continued Cheshire noting that agreement of any kind between utilities and solar providers is a notable and positive development.
 
AriSEIA is pleased that the settlement reconfirmed support for the essential policy of grandfathering whereby any APS customer signing up for solar before the settlement agreement is finally adopted will be guaranteed 20 years of full retail net metering and their current utility rate design.  In addition, the settlement terms create a new and incentive-free rate aimed at supporting the adoption of new technologies like solar paired with battery storage, creating new opportunities for Arizona ratepayers to have an alternative to the status quo.
 
"At the end of the day, the alternative to this settlement was to risk the entire solar industry to litigation in front of the Arizona Corporation Commission and AriSEIA concluded that was simply too much risk to take" said Corey Garrison of Southface Solar Electric, Board Member of AriSEIA. He also went on to say  "Arizona currently has more than 7,000 people working in the solar industry and while we firmly believe this state should be doing everything possible to increase that number, we are optimistic that this settlement protects a significant number of the existing jobs".
 
Through a separate agreement, APS, Industry Representatives, and solar advocates commit to stand by the settlement agreement and refrain from seeking to undermine it through ballot initiatives, legislation or advocacy at the ACC.

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Arizona Energy Futures Conference

Arizona Energy Futures Conference

Changes to Arizona law and regulation from 2015 have had a significant impact on the demand, availability and economics of solar electric and solar water systems. 2016 has seen additional regulations added onto businesses and fees tacked on to customers. Throw in the election of 3/5 of the Arizona Corporation Commission and 2017 looks to be even more unpredictable.  This makes it all the more important that the main issues that face energy choice and source in Arizona get an open and unbiased discussion prior to the November 8th election.

Join national and local experts in an open and honest discussion of the issues that will drive Arizona's energy future on Friday, October 7, 2016, at the Rio Salado Conference Center in Tempe.

Conference Agenda

Join national and local experts in an open and honest discussion of the issues that will drive Arizona's energy future on Friday, October 7, 2016, at the Rio Salado Conference Center in Tempe.

9:00 – 9:05 Pledge of Allegiance & Opening Remarks - Lucy Mason, AriSEIA

9:05 – 9:15 Rio Salado College Welcome - Dr. Chris Bustamante

9:15 – 9:40 Keynote – The Path to Arizona’s Energy Future, Chris Nelder, RMI

9:45 - 10:35 Utility Rate Cases: The Insider’s Perspective

  • Meghan Grabel, OM Law
  • Briana Kobor, Vote Solar
  • Moderator: Rachel Leingang, Arizona Capitol Times

10:40 – 11:40 Demand Charges/Net Metering

  • Kris Mayes – former AZ Corporation Commissioner
  • Glen Andersen – National Council of State Legislators
  • Snuller Price, Energy + Environmental Economics (E3)
  • Dr. Naim Darghouth – Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Moderator: Karl Rabago - Pace Energy & Climate Center

11:45 – 11:55 Why Arizona’s Energy Choices Matter - Court Rich

12:00 – 1:15 Lunch – Candidates Roundtable, “One-On-One with ACC Candidates”

1:30 – 2:30 Legislative & Regulatory Impacts On Business: One Year Later

  • Robbie Uppal, Solar Topps – Impact of Local Regulations
  • Mark Holohan, Wilson Electric – Impact of legislation
  • Kevin Koch, Technicians for Sustainability – Impact of Utility Fees
  • Former Mayor of Mesa, AZ, Scott Smith – Solar Tech Business
  • Moderator: Pat Quinn, Arizona Utility Ratepayer Alliance

2:45 – 3:45 Future Markets: Cheaper Solar, Battery Storage & Impact of EVs

  • Richard Jacobson, Intertek Testing Services – Electric Vehicles
  • Christopher C. Deschene, U.S. Dept. of Energy
  • Boaz Soifer, Bay Wa r.e.- New Technology Impacts
  • Moderator: Dr. Nathan Johnson, ASU Dir. LEAP


3:45 – 4:00 Wrap Up – Tom Harris, President, AriSEIA

4:00PM Conference Concludes


Open to the public

Admission $35 (includes morning coffee, lunch and afternoon snack)
MCCCD students with ID - Free ($15 w/lunch)
Only 200 seats available - Preregistration required
For information, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Purchase Tickets

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Arizona Energy Futures Conference (2)

Arizona Energy Futures Conference

Friday’s Arizona Energy Futures Conference was a tremendous success, drawing more attendees than last year’s inaugural event and providing a sharp focus on the energy policy questions facing our state and industry.  Over 100 state legislators, mayors, council members, utility board members, business owners, members of the public, energy researchers and policy makers from around Arizona and the U.S. met to discuss in an open and non-contentious environment the issues that face Arizona as it decides how to meet its future energy needs.
 
AriSEIA will be posting video of the panels online in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can find links to conference presentations in PDF form below. Please be aware that not all presenters used slide decks.

Conference Presentations

Please direct all questions regarding any presentation to the presenter, not AriSEIA.

9:45 - 10:35  Utility Rate Cases: The Insider’s Perspective

   • Meghan Grabel, Osborn Maledon
   • Briana Kobor, Vote Solar

10:40 – 11:40 Demand Charges/Net Metering

   • Kris Mayes –  Solar Strong America
   • Glen Andersen – National Conference of State Legislators
   • Snuller Price, Energy + Environmental Economics (E3)
   • Dr. Naim Darghouth – Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

1:30 – 2:30 Legislative & Regulatory Impacts On Business: One Year Later

   • Mark Holohan, Wilson Electric – Impact of legislation

2:45 – 3:45 Future Markets: Cheaper Solar, Battery Storage & Impact of EVs

   • Chris Deschene: U.S. Dept. of Energy - Battery Storage & Markets
   • Boaz Soifer, Bay Wa r.e. - New Technology Impacts

AriSEIA Endorses Arizona Solar Energy Freedom Act

Phoenix, Arizona, April 25, 2016

With a unanimous vote, the AriSEIA Board of Directors voted to endorse the Arizona Solar Energy Freedom Act (ASEFA) and encourages all of its members and those interested in the ongoing growth of third-party distributed energy for residential, commercial and industrial customers and fair compensation for energy delivered to the electrical grid to do the same.

“The Arizona Solar Energy Freedom Act” preserves the right of Arizonans to install solar on their properties and ensures they are paid a fair rate of return for the electricity they sell to the utilities,” said AriSEIA President Tom Harris. “Even though negotiations and hearings are happening with utilities and the Corporation Commission, none of those agreements will protect the consumer’s right to choose how or from whom they purchase electricity. The ASEFA makes it clear Arizonans support energy choice and fair compensation to system owners.”

Lucy Mason, AriSEIA Executive Director and former Republican State Representative, agrees. “Less than 12 hours after this initiative was announced, APS was already working to undermine it by having anti-solar legislators create a fast-tracked opposing ballot proposition, written with the input of legislative attorneys. This way APS can avoid the costly signature-gathering required in the voter initiative process, and instead use the taxpayer-funded legislative process for free. The legislature should not be doing APS’ bidding.”

AriSEIA encourages its members to sign up and support the ASEFA campaign at http://yesonazsolar.com or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YesOnSolar.az/

AriSEIA is a non-profit 501(c)(6) trade association.

Press Release: AriSEIA Responds To Solar Jobs Census

Report Cites Government Regulation & Market Interference For Loss

PHOENIX, AZ, February 18, 2016 The Solar Foundation released last week the Arizona Solar Job Census 2015 and reveals that Arizona lost 2,248 solar industry jobs last year, a nearly 25% drop from 2014. These losses resulted in Arizona dropping four places in the national rankings from third to seventh place. Nationally, the solar industry added 35,052 jobs, which is a 20.2% increase over November 2014 and 115,000 (123%) since 2010.

“While the rest of the country, including neighboring states, are growing their solar industry by over 20%, it is noteworthy that Arizona lost almost 25% of its jobs,” said AriSEIA president Tom Harris. “These significant losses are no surprise, given the regulatory and legislative hurdles facing our industry.  One would hope this industry, the only one to create 10,000 new, high-paying jobs during the recession, would receive significant support from our elected officials.”

The Arizona Solar Jobs Census 2015 report cites increases in utility fees approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission and the state’s largest municipal utility, SRP, which itself recorded a devastating 75-95% drop in solar installations in their service territory, as the likely reason for the decline.

Lucy Mason, AriSEIA’s Executive Director added, “At a time where our Governor is saying we should be supporting small business and reducing regulation, we now have clear proof of the damaging effect increased regulation and government interference have on high technology employment in Arizona; a sector critical to our state’s long term economic success. We call on Governor Ducey to stand up for this industry and these jobs, not stand down and watch them evaporate.”

“Small business is the growth engine of our economy. No other state in the country has higher rates of solar insolation (the amount of sunlight hitting the ground) than Arizona,” said Harris. “That Arizona is not fully utilizing this significant competitive advantage and these job opportunities sets a dangerous precedent and is neither the legacy we believe the Governor and the ACC want to leave nor the message they want sent to the business and investor community.”


Arizona Solar Jobs Census 2015: http://www.thesolarfoundation.org/solar-jobs-census/az-2015/
Arizona Solar Jobs Census 2014: http://www.thesolarfoundation.org/press-release-az-census-2014/

Contact: Lucy Mason
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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