There are lies. And there are LIES.
The former are little stretches here, minor omissions there.
The latter are just plain whoppers that leave the person (or company, in this case) caught in it almost speechless.
And that’s where we find our local monopoly utility today: having lied, having been caught and now having to be quiet and hoping people forget that it happened.
Arizona Public Service, as the Phoenix New Times points out today (prompted by a story by Ryan Randazzo and Robert Anglen in the Arizona Republic on Sunday), lied back in July when they said they did not fund a campaign of ads by 60 Plus and Prosper attacking rooftop solar companies.
The New Times wrote:
“But now the company’s confessing that it is, in fact, funding the campaign.
Jim McDonald, APS spokesman, tells us he ‘had no intention of telling a lie to anybody’ when he told the lie.”
It is no small lie to completely deny that you are spending hundreds of thousands of ratepayer dollars to fund a blitz of attacks against the solar industry.
It must be nice to be the monopoly in town. APS is so awash in cash, it can just spend, spend, spend its ratepayers’ money on attacking the rooftop solar industry in Arizona. APS loves to talk about energy efficiency and savings. That doesn’t seem to be honest now, in light of the fact they are spending heavily to try and destroy an industry that gives homeowners another energy choice and an opportunity to save money.
Your average ratepayer who is familiar with APS likely would be surprised to learn that the company providing his or her power has just been caught lying about how it spends its windfall profits.
So now we know the stuff APS is made of. They are the bully who rules the schoolyard and they make up the rules. They use their power, they use the fact that they are feared and they take, take and take until they get caught. And even when they are caught, they will try to take some more.
APS has been a laggard in terms of innovation and it is heavily subsidized itself, even as it complains about solar. The bully does not like to look bad. So the bully lashes out.
All rooftop solar companies have asked throughout the process is for a fair hearing on the future of net metering, which is directly tied to their futures in Arizona and to the energy future of the state as well. They have been met with nasty ads attacking solar customers which, it turns out, were funded by APS (APS ratepayers to be precise).
So at the end of it all we have this: A utility monopoly paying for ads that attack its own customers for doing what the utility urged them to do years ago—go solar.
It just leaves you saying to yourself: “What the *#@!, APS?”