Arizona is learning a lesson the hard way: When you tax something, the market drops.
Exhibit A: Arizona Public Service, a state monopoly, ended up with 426 rooftop solar net metering applications in March compared to 889 in March 2013—that’s a significant 52% drop.
Exhibit B: There were only 1,077 applications for net metering in the first quarter of 2014 compared to 1,800 last year during the same time period—a 40% reduction. All this while the rest of the country’s solar markets are expanding.
Channel 12 News also covered the negative impact the solar tax is having on Arizona’s economy. Channel 12 reported, “Applications plunged almost 60% in the first three months of this year.” Here is a link to the story.
Solar applications are stable or up in Tucson Electric Power and Salt River Project service areas, which do not impose a fee on solar customers. This is further evidence of the impact the charge is having on the solar industry in APS territory.
APS, which last year admitted it saw a $3.7 million increase in operations expenses in part because officials feverishly spent large sums of money from ratepayers to attack its own solar ratepayers, is not serving the interests of the public with its schemes to kill solar in Arizona. APS wants to reduce the rate it pays for solar so it can sell it at a higher profit.
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.