Solar homeowners in Arizona breathed a collective sigh of relief this August as the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) voted to maintain full net-metering incentives and reject mandatory demand charges for solar customers.
The vote ruled against the state’s rural electric company UniSource Energy (UNSE), which sought the approval of legislators to increase the fees on approximately 100,000 solar customers by an additional $31 a month.
The ACC’s decision to hold off on rate increases aligns with an Administrative Law Judge’s recommendation to wait until an analysis of a docket entitled “Value of Solar” is completed, before making any decisions that would impact solar customers. The Value of Solar docket is scheduled to be concluded by October 2016, with a final decision on net metering for UNSE customers to be concluded by March 2017.
The outcome of the UNSE case is being closely monitored by solar proponents and detractors, as the rural utility company is one of five in Arizona that are looking to eliminate net-metering.