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Solar Battle Flares Up in Arizona

October 28, 2013 By Linda Hardesty

Energy Manage solarThe utility, Arizona Public Service Company (APS), has admitted to funding some anti-solar ads.

The Arizona Republic reported that APS acknowledged it provided money to two conservative non-profits that ran anti-solar ads: 60 Plus and Prosper. The 60 Plus ad said: “Connected companies getting corporate welfare. Now California’s new Solyndras, SunRun and SolarCity, are getting rich off hard-working Arizonans.” The Prosper ad claimed homeowners with solar are paid five times the market rate for the power they produce and return to the grid and that other ratepayers have to foot the bill for that.

The battle in Arizona stems from some changes to net metering rules that APS has proposed. APS says customers with solar installations who get credit for the electricity they send to the power grid are getting a better deal than non-solar customers who must pay the costs of maintaining the utility’s infrastructure.

But The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) says solar customers need a financial incentive and that APS is trying to destroy the solar industry. TASC was formed by four solar companies – SolarCity, Sungevity, Sunrun and Verengo –to ensure the continuation of net energy metering.

The Arizona Corporation Commission is slated to begin hearings on APS’ net-metering proposal in November.

APS spokesman Jim McDonald told the Arizona Republic, that APS supports solar, but the company views net metering as unfair to non-solar customers.

For its part, TASC is requesting the Arizona Corporation Commission and Arizona Attorney General’s Office to investigate if APS used ratepayer money to support the non-profits who ran the anti-solar ads.

APS told the Arizona Republic it made the contributions from profits of its parent company Pinnacle West, a publicly-traded company.

As the battle between APS and solar advocates flared last week, several protestors lined up in front of the utility’s headquarters with signs that read “APS is slimy” and “APS lied.” Most of the protesters were retirees from Goodyear living in a neighborhood where many bought or leased solar panels, reported the Arizona Republic.

Photo: Solar panel installation via Shutterstock



2 comments on “Solar Battle Flares Up in Arizona

  1. I’m a Conservative and solar is the wrong choice on moral grounds regarding subsidies. We should wait for nuclear powered hydrogen fuel cells.

  2. Bob – we dont have the time to sit around on our behinds and wait for nuclear powered hydrogen fuel cells! Solar is here and it is now and so is climate change. Would you say it would be morally wrong to offer similar tax or other incentives for hydrogen fuel cells, if they were too expensive for the ordinary person to buy? I have a 4.3 kw solar system on my house, using net metering, from Duke Power. I look at it this way – i”m PROVIDING a service to the public – clean energy supplied to Duke Pwr, and to every other customer of the utility. I did pay for the solar panels and the installation and equipment i believe. I’m paid the same rate for power used as power i sell back, plus a few billing gimmicks that insure that I NEVER have a zero or less power bill, EVER. I dont think its unfair at all, except for the underhanded billing gimmicks enforced on ME. I thought “conservative” meant that you would try to CONSERVE things, not just money but all things, INCLUDING power. Instead, they are trying to kill it in every way possible, along with any power source not controlled by rich mega corporations like Duke. I thought CONSERVATIVE meant, get the govt OUT of the private citizen’s business? Unless of course it threatens the monopolies that mega corporations hold over the dirtiest power sources known to man (coal, oil, gas, nuclear),
    Conservatives are *only* interested in killing alternative energy in any way they can and making it unavailable to the individual citizen. Anything to squeeze all the money out of poor and middle class people and give it to our rich overlords, right? Hey, why not tax breaks for the guy who turns the house heat UP to 95 degrees and then props his windows open all winter. Tax breaks to people who buy gas guzzling cars too? Folks should have to pay a hefty price to recycle anything and those who do not, should get tax breaks too, right? Prizes awarded to those who can show “Conspicuous Overconsumption” in any aspect of their daily lives!
    Conservatives need to do what their philosophy tells them and actually CONSERVE something! As long as its not my money, being conserved and REDISTRIBUTED TO THE WEALTHY. Call President Obama a socialist when they are SOCIALISTS themsel

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