Monday, February 17, 2014

Campbell pushing Legislature to protect consumer choice and encourage renewable energy competition

Campbell pushing Legislature to protect consumer choice and encourage renewable energy competition

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix (District 24), is pushing the Legislature to protect consumer choice, to promote competition and to support renewable energy in Arizona. Campbell introduced a House Concurrent Resolution, which proposes an amendment to the Arizona Constitution that would give voters a voice on solar and renewable energy standards for the state.

HCR 2032 would alter the Arizona Constitution until 2024 to include the Arizona Corporation Commission’s net metering regulations that were a part of the Renewable Energy Standards and Tariff rules. These rules require regulated utility companies to provide net metering to electric customers at a set rate.

“A large utility company in Arizona is trying to find ways around these regulations, limiting consumer choice and preventing the renewable energy market from expanding,” Campbell said. “If this issue goes to the ballot, and the voters send a clear message that this is important, then these standards will be protected.”

Campbell pointed to HB 2595, a bill the House Ways and Means Committee is scheduled to hear on Feb. 17 that would make it more expensive for people to lease solar panels, as an example of the way some utility companies are attempting to clamp down on renewable energy options.

“This kind of legislation is just counterproductive,” Campbell said. “We need to promote ideas that encourage competition and consumer choice, especially in the renewable energy field. It’s one of the few industries that held strong during the recession. It provides long-term, high-wage jobs in our state. We should be a leader in solar and renewable energy innovation.”




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