Published June 2016
(Download full brief here)
- UNS Electric, Inc., is a small utility serving approximately 93,000 ratepayers in Santa Cruz and Mohave Counties in Arizona.
- The utility faces challenges in paying for fixed assets with a declining demand and a business model built on increasing energy consumption.
- As a remedy, UNS is applying for a rate change focused on increasing the cost of electricity for small volume electricity users, especially those that may benefit from net-metering policies for distributed (primarily solar) generation.
- Although the utility is small, the rate case is being closely watched, as it may be precedent setting for other utilities.
In the wake of the Clean Power Plan, EPIC and the Sonoran Institute issued this Build-out Study on utility-scale solar developments in the pipeline at the end of 2015. These are projects
1. that are fully permitted
2. with planning or permits likely to be concluded by the end of 2017, or
3. are located in areas already identified as suitable for large-scale solar installations).
In addition to this survey, the report identifies existing policies that supported these installments and recommends future policies to continue the clean energy trajectory.
(download full brief here)
- Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) offers a path for building owners to fund energy efficiency upgrades and renewable energy projects.
- Under the PACE framework, a local government provides the up-front capital for a building owner to install an energy efficiency project and/or a renewable energy system on their building. The building owner repays the capital over the course of 20 years through a property assessment tax.
- PACE is being successfully used in 12 states and Washington, D.C. for commercial properties. Many states also allow PACE financing for residential properties, but most residential financing programs have been shelved for now while the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issues rules related to lien seniority for mortgaged homes.
- Developing a PACE program in Arizona would require passage of PACE-enabling legislation. PACE-enabling bills have been introduced in past legislative session, but have not been signed into law.
- During the current 2014 session, State Reps. Orr (R) and Sherwood (D) are sponsoring PACE-enabling bill HB 2206.