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Arizona Corporation Commission Rejects Demand Charges, Maintains Net Metering For Unisource Customers

The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) ruled in the UniSource Energy (UNSE) rate case to reject mandatory demand charges for solar customers and maintain full net retail metering.

The vote by the ACC is aligned with an Administrative Law Judge's recommendation to hold off on any decision that would impact solar customers until further analysis on the value of solar is completed.

Currently, the ACC has a Value of Solar docket open, intended to measure the costs and benefits of rooftop solar for all Arizona utility customers. In its final ruling, the ACC called for the Value of Solar docket to be concluded by October 2016, and the final decision on net metering for UNSE customers to be concluded by March 2017.

Nate Watters, representative of the Energy Freedom Coalition, responded to the ACC's decision. "We are encouraged that the ACC largely agreed with the ALJ's recommendation. The Commission recognized that demand charges are not in the best interest of UniSource customers, and that any change to net metering without further analysis of solar would be imprudent. We look forward to a data-driven process in the Value of Solar docket that will account for all of the benefits rooftop solar provides to the grid and all rate payers."

The UNSE rate case is one of five Arizona utility rate cases that seek to impose confusing rate structures and eliminate net metering.

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