Tucson Electric Power (TEP) plans to file a request later this year with Arizona Corporation Commission regulators for new 2017 rates that will include a revised net-metering plan with what it calls ‘fair-market pricing’ for the excess energy produced by rooftop solar arrays.
TEP says the plans to incorporate the net-metering revision in its rate request will result in its withdrawal of a separate request filed earlier this year.
Current net-metering rules provide TEP's solar customers with bill credits worth roughly $0.110/kWh for the excess electricity their systems produce. According to TEP, the rate is nearly twice as much as the utility pays for energy from large solar arrays – $0.058/kWh.
The proposed net-metering change would not affect customers who have solar power systems already or those whose requests to connect new solar arrays to TEP's grid were submitted by June 1.
‘Our customers shouldn't have to overpay for excess energy from rooftop arrays when less expensive, more reliable solar options are available," says David G. Hutchens, president and CEO of TEP." We can expand our community's solar energy resources far more quickly and sustainably through more cost-effective options.’
Advocates of residential rooftop solar installers may be expected to vigorously oppose TEP's plan.