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Policies & Politics

Arizona Solar Faceoff: Kingman & Lake Havasu City Public Hearings March 31st

STOP DEMAND CHARGES. SAVE SOLAR writes:

“Arizona electric utilities are trying to make your electric bills more complicated and more volatile with against anti-consumer and anti-solar fees. At the same time, they’re pushing the same solar policies that recently killed the solar market in Nevada.”

Those people wishing to make their voice heard who live in the Kingman or Lake Havasu City areas, please attend the public hearings on March 31st.

UniSourceEnergy Services is asking the Arizona Corporate Commission (ACC) for new demand charges — which are notoriously anti-consumer– that will jack up Arizona families’ electric bills and set a precedent for utilities in the state. Demand charges are complicated and confusing. Your electricity will cost more for the whole month depending as a result of just one moment of high energy use. If your oven and washing machine are one at the same time, you get slapped with a high charge. If your AC kicks on at the same time you’re blowdrying your hair, you get slapped with a high charge.”

According to Unisource, if approved the mandatory demand charge adds about $2 a month to the average residential electric bill in the first year, and another $7.87 a month in the following years, according to UniSource.

Demand charges defended by some

Glenn Hamer, president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Lea Marquez Peterson, president and CEO of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce added this perspective:

“Critics claim demand rates are “too confusing.” As smart thermostats and app technology grow ever smarter, this claim falls short. Demand rates give consumers a new way to save money by managing their use of electric appliances during peak usage periods. Smart technology can help customers take advantage of demand rates to lower their bills significantly. At the same time, reducing energy usage during peak times helps ensure the stability of the power grid statewide.”

After holding public hearings, the ACC has final say over rate charges.

Image: Saguaro National Park via Shutterstock




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