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Critical Issues

The problem with power today

$200 Billion

Annual public health costs in the US due to coal emissions. These damages are avoided by our utilities and paid with taxpayer dollars. [1]

Power rates would more than DOUBLE if utilities were forced to pay the true cost of the dirty energy we are forced to buy.

New fracking wells drilled since 2005:

280 billion gallons of toxic wastewater

produced by fracking in the US in 2012 that must be permanently disposed of. [2]

Over $9 Million

spent in 2013 by Arizona’s largest utility monopoly to fight rooftop solar and electricity competition. [3]

APS CEO PAY

46% increase in 1 year

APS Pay to CEO

10% rate of return

guaranteed on all costs incurred by our Arizona utility monopolies. The more they spend, the more they earn.

$44,000

Average salary for all Arizonans

$92,000

Average salary for Arizona utility employees

[4]

Customers pay for grid infrastructure upgrades but end up owning nothing. Utilities own the assets but risk nothing, since their guaranteed rate of return protects them from unexpected costs or losses.

Arizonans have spoken:

We are ready to stop renting electricity from a system with no choice or competition. We are now able to own our power.

9 in 10

Arizonans believe we should have more energy choices and competition rather than just a utility monopoly. [5]

AZ solar market

79%

of solar homeowners earn an annual household income of $40,000 to $90,000 [6]

$40,000 – $50,000

Annual household income of the fastest growing group of solar homeowners [6]

Arizona’s clean power solution

Net Metering

1. Solar panels produce power. Pretty simple.

2. Solar power is sent in to your home. You’ll often produce more power than you need right then, so the extra is sent to the grid…but don’t worry, your meter will keep track of your accumulated bank of extra power.

3. When you need more power than is being produced by the solar panels, supplemental electricity is drawn from your accumulation. If and when that runs out, you’ll buy more power form the grid.

Where we are now…

states, including Arizona, already have existing Net Metering policies in place, though many of these policies are under attack by our country’s largest electric utilities

Arizona is one of these states. The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) will hold a series of technical workshops in 2014 to determine the fate of net metering in our state.

PACE

Property Assessed Clean Energy

PACE offers homeowners and building owners a more affordable way to finance solar. You’ll pay for your solar the same way you pay your property taxes.

In most situations, the energy savings from your solar system will be greater than the loan payment.

You will be making money from the start with NO out-of-pocket cost.

Where we are now…

Though widely available throughout states like California, PACE is not yet allowed in Arizona.

PACE would enable countless home and business owners to acquire solar much more affordably but requires AZ legislation.

Community Solar

Community Solar ANM VNM

You can own a portion of a large project located elsewhere.

The solar power produced offsets your own energy needs and performs as if it were connected to your own rooftop.

You don’t have to own your own home, condo, or office building.

Your solar ownership stays with you, not the property, no matter where you move within the same grid territory.

Where we are now…

Community Solar is also available in several other states, none of which is bathed in sunlight like we are in Arizona.

Because Net Metering is such a crucial building block for Community Solar, Arizona must solidify that policy first.

REST

Renewable Energy Standard & Tariff

In 2006, the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) approved the REST which requires utilities to produce 15% of their energy from renewable sources incrementally by 2025.

Since then, the adoption of solar power has increased exponentially while the cost to install it has dropped just the same.

All in all, Arizona’s REST has been wildly successful but is still much less aggressive than in other states.

Other states are as high as 33% by 2020, over twice as much as AZ and 5 years earlier.

Where we are now…

There has been an astonishing amount of push back from regulators against increasing Arizona’s REST, regardless of how paltry our current standard is.

We saw that creating the REST spurred positive solar policies and unparalleled clean power growth. Increasing this standard will have a similar effect once again.

Microgrids & Storage

Microgrids and Storage

Microgrids are large scale renewable energy systems located close to the point of energy consumption.

Typically power plants must be located far away from cities because they are detrimental to human health. However, Microgrids do not harm people and locating them closer to the point of need saves 7-12%+ in transmission line losses.

Microgrids with storage such as batteries will result in a much more balanced grid and will reduce costs associated with peak rates and high daytime energy demands.

With power, having many small, strategically-located power plants is much more reliable than a small number of large, vulnerable plants.

Where we are now…

Microgrids are essentially the combination of all of the other clean power policies above. A Microgrid integrates Net Metering, PACE, and Community Solar together as our state’s next generation of clean, reliable, power production and distribution.

What the solution means for Arizona

Democratization of Power

The technology and economics of today’s renewable energy allow us to own our own power, bringing an end to the mandatory rental relationship we have had with our electric utilities for nearly two centuries.

Prosperous Economy

A prosperous 21st century economy is one which plans for the future by innovating to create lasting jobssustainable growth, and a reintroduction of the true American Dream.

Clean Environment

Our current energy system requires blowing off mountaintops, pumping the earth full of poisonous chemicals, and charging the air with toxic smog. Renewable power cleans the air we breath and the water we drink.

[1] Full cost accounting for the life cycle of coal, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences

[2] The Costs of Fracking, Environment America Research & Policy Center

[3] Arizona Public Service (APS)

[4] Arizona Department of Administration, Office of Employment & Population Statistics

[5] Public Opinion Strategies

[6] Center for American Progress