We’ve been following the attempt by Arizona Public Serivce, the power company now at the leading edge of the electric industry’s attack on net metering, to add extra fees to the electric bills of AZ solar power producers. Last week, it happened.
What the New York Times described as “a compromise” adds a monthly fee of $.70 per rated kilowatt of capacity to the bills of AZ solar power producers. This is a small fee, APS had asked for a $40 to $50 monthly fee, but the electric industry has now created a precedent in its attempt to roll back net metering.
The vote on the AZ State Corporation Commission was 3-2. This vote followed the 2012 election for members of the Commission in which Republican teabaggers, supported by electric industry campaign money, defeated two long time supporters of renewable power.
My system has a rated capacity, the amount of electricity can generate at any one time, of a little over 3 kilowatts. If I lived in AZ, my new monthly penalty for producing my own electricity would amount to about $3.20. That’s not much, but you can bet that the inaptly named Arizona Public Service will be back in a year or so looking to raise that fee when no one is looking.