In the US, the Arizona Corporation Commission approved a proposal filed by the Arizona Public Service (APS) to increase energy tariffs.According to a press statement, the state’s energy regulator has allowed APS to increase monthly energy tariffs for residential consumers by 4.5% or $6. The approval allows APS to increase its revenue by 3.3%.
Energy tariffs and smart grid investments
The energy tariff will be in effect as from August 19 and is expected to enable APS to raise funds to invests in smart grid technologies and business cases to improve the reliability of its grid network and customer services. The proposal had been filed 15 months ago.
Don Brandt, CEO of APS, commented: “Arizona’s energy consumers are the clear winners here because this agreement enables investment in a smarter, cleaner energy infrastructure, gives customers more choice and control through new rate options, and continues Arizona’s solar leadership.”
For instance, the approval will enable APS to invest between $10 million to $15 million in its residential solar programme.
Under the AZ Sun 11 rooftop solar initiative, APS awards low and moderate income consumers for allowing the utility to install solar PVs on their rooftops. APS customers will be paid 12.9 cents per kilowatt-hour of excess electricity they produce from on-site solar PVs and sell to the utility.
The development will also allow APS to direct $15 million towards rewarding its consumers for improving their energy efficiency. The energy provider will have enough funds to invests in grid upgrade and maintenance projects such as the development of energy storage and microgrid technologies over the next three years.
APS says it will also be able to add four new demand response events to the demand-side management portfolio as well as increase investments towards the annual crisis bill assistance programme to help low-income consumers pay their bills.
“It is a needed step in creating a long-term, sustainable energy policy for our customers and the state,” added Brandt.
The approval of the new energy tariffs will result in APS reducing its carbon emissions and meet environmental mandates set under state policies.
The rate review filed by APS is the first over a period of five years. The energy provider will only be able to file another rate review as from June 1, 2019.
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