Utility Monopoly Backed Anti-Solar Bill Headed To AZ Legislature

TUSK Admin Arizona

Red-Tape Heavy Bill Directly Contradicts Governor Ducey’s Recently Imposed Moratorium on New Regulations.

(PHOENIX)  A job-killing bill intended to harm energy choice and Arizona’s popular rooftop solar market is being introduced at the State Legislature as Arizona Public Service looks for new ways to legislate its competition out of business.

At an Arizona Corporation Commission staff meeting, Commission Staff stated that Marc Osborn came to them with the draft language of the bill last week. Osborn is a lobbyist for APS-front group AZ Prosperity Alliance, run by a long-time APS paid consultant.

The bill is expected to be introduced by Sun City State Senator Debbie Lesko, and will target Arizona’s rooftop solar market with unnecessary, additional government regulation. It will require outrageously complicated contract language and forms for rooftop solar customers. The contract language currently being used by rooftop solar companies was written to comply with all state and federal laws. This new legislation would create a new layer of bureaucracy designed to undermine a growing rooftop solar industry

Ironically, some of the highest concentrations of rooftop solar installations, and the individuals likely to be most vocally opposed to this bill, are in specific communities Sen. Lesko represents.

This is not the first time APS has enlisted the help of elected officials to further its anti-solar agenda. A letter critical of rooftop solar that had been sent by several members of Congress to the Federal Trade Commission was actually written by Arizona Public Service according to a report by The Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting. Here is a link to the report.

This anti-solar legislation  directly contradicts Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s recently imposed moratorium on new regulations which he issued January 5th as his first official action as Governor. The new Republican Arizona Attorney General is not supporting this legislation.

TUSK Chairman Barry Goldwater Jr. stated, “The fastest way to drive a sector of the economy out of business is to either tax it to death or over-regulate it.  It looks as if APS is trying both tactics.”

Goldwater added, “I urge Senator Lesko to reconsider her legislation. Sadly, a number of our elected officials are being misled and misinformed by utility monopolies that used to operate fairly and impartially. Let’s hope this Sun City lawmaker sees the light.”

Arizona residents interested in opposing Lesko’s legislation can do so by calling her office at 602-946-5413 or email her at dlesko@azleg.gov.

To learn more about T.U.S.K. visit www.dontkillsolar.com. T.U.S.K. believes that rooftop solar is similar to a charter school—it provides a competitive alternative to the monopoly. Monopoly utilities aren’t known for reducing costs or for driving business innovation, but the solar industry is. Solar companies have a track record of aggressive cost reduction. The more people use rooftop solar, the less power they need to buy from the utilities. Energy independence means smaller profits for the utilities, so they are doing everything they can to stop the spread of independent solar.