Commission Votes to Decline Proposed Energy Rules Package
Commissioners voted 3-2 at their January Contingency Open Meeting to not move forward with a package of energy rules that, if adopted, would have required electric utilities to achieve 100% zero-carbon emissions energy by 2070. Commissioner Justin Olson cited concerns regarding the cost of the proposed rules on consumers, while Commissioner Jim O’Connor noted that Arizona’s electric utilities have already adopted voluntary clean energy goals on their own. Chairwoman Lea Márquez Peterson said she could not support the 2070 date because she supports 100% clean energy by 2050. She also said she could not support the proposal because she believes the rule should be a goal, not a mandate. Commissioners Sandra D. Kennedy and Anna Tovar voted in favor of the package, stating that the energy rules package had been the result of nearly four years of work by Commissioners, Commission Staff, and a wide array of stakeholders which included regulated utilities, clean energy advocacy groups, and public health advocates.
Arizona Corporation Commission Special Open Meeting regarding Ascend and Workshop
The Arizona Corporation Commission's Special Open Meeting regarding Ascend and Workshop September 28 and 29, 2021 can be viewed here.
Commissioners voted 3-2 to advance an amended energy rules package at its May 26 Open Meeting that will move Arizona’s regulated utilities to 100% carbon-free energy by 2070. The vote to move the rules forward comes after the energy rules failed at the Commission’s May 5 Open Meeting.
The Commission’s vote is the result of nearly three years of work by Commissioners and Commission Staff, including several workshops, and input from myriad stakeholders, including regulated utilities, clean energy advocacy groups, public health advocates, consumer advocates, and concerned ratepayers. The amended energy rules will now go back through the formal rulemaking process which allows for additional opportunities for public comment before eventually coming back before the Commission for a final vote.
Several amendments were adopted during the May 26 Open Meeting. The result of the compromises made between Commissioners helped to garner the necessary 3 votes to advance the rules package. Notable among the amendments was a joint amendment from Commissioner Anna Tovar and Commissioner Jim O’Connor which extended the deadline by which utilities must reach 100% carbon-free emissions from 2050 to 2070, with interim standards beginning with a 50% reduction by 2032, a 65% reduction by 2040, an 80% reduction by 2050, and a 95% reduction by 2060.
Commissioners Tovar and O’Connor offered three additional amendments which were adopted that will add a Ratepayer Impact Measure Test, make changes to the portfolio options utilities must put forth in their Integrated Resource Plans, and add the definition of ‘All Source’ which includes supply-side and demand-side resources.
Chairwoman Lea Márquez Peterson offered an amendment that was adopted, which will allow a utility to seek a fair return on the fair value of the reasonable and prudent, used and useful investments made in demand-side resources, such as energy efficiency and demand response.