Arizona to raise fees on rooftop solar for over 1 million customers


The Arizona Corporation Commission has approved a rate hike for Arizona Public Service Co., impacting approximately 1.4 million customers in the state. As a result, residential customers can expect their monthly bills to increase by $10 to $12 starting in March. Additionally, customers with rooftop solar systems will face an extra fee of $2.50 to $3 per month. This decision, made after an hourslong hearing, has sparked criticism and calls for further review.

Despite not knowing the exact impact of the rate hike on customers, Commission Chair Jim O’Connor and his Republican colleagues proceeded with the approval, citing a projected increase of about 8%. This move has been challenged by the Arizona Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, which is urging the commission to reevaluate the decision and demand utility executives provide accurate data on the projected impact. The rate case, which began nearly two years ago, has drawn involvement from various parties, including labor unions, citizens groups, renewable energy advocates, and public schools.

While utility officials argue that the rate increase is necessary to enhance service reliability and recoup infrastructure expenses, dissenting voices like Commissioner Anna Tovar have voiced concerns about the financial burden placed on customers. The approved rate plan aims to support APS’s grid investments by providing a return on equity of 9.55%. The impact of these changes on different customer classes, such as schools and small businesses, is still being evaluated, with the commission seeking additional analysis from the utility and its staff.

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