These are somewhat thorny days to be a member of the Arizona Corporation Commission. The Commission has been put in the uncomfortable position of being pulled into the fear/greed vortex of a monopoly. The monopoly–Arizona Public Service—wants to snuff out the independent rooftop solar energy market in Arizona. In order to do that, it needs to convince the ACC to eliminate a cornerstone policy called net metering. Net metering basically is like the rollover minutes on your cell phone bill and ensures that customers with rooftop solar get fair market credit from APS for any extra power they return to the grid.
If APS is successful in pulling the plug on net metering, thousands of jobs would be lost and businesses would suffer. In the end, it hurts consumers because it hurts competition.
A recent poll showed that the move by APS is extremely unpopular. Eight-eight percent of voters agree (including 76% of Republicans) that solar energy is finally succeeding in Arizona because solar customers are allowed to sell the extra energy their solar panels generate back to the utility company (net metering).
The APS scheme is akin to a bad bill in the Legislature or a ridiculous development brought before the City Council—it puts the institution in a horrible position. It’s time for APS to pull the plug and be straight with its customers about solar.