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Arizona regulators reject fully vetted clean energy rules

Posted by Cayli Baker on Jan 26, 2022

After more than three years of stakeholder engagement, ACC turns its back on affordable pathway to 100% advanced energy resources.

PHOENIX, January 26, 2022 — Today, national business group Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) expressed disappointment with the Arizona Corporation Commission’s (ACC) rejection of its 100% clean energy rules package. The 3-2 vote against adopting rules to guide the state’s energy transition comes after more than three years of bipartisan cooperation and extensive engagement with utilities, businesses, consumer advocates, and other Arizona stakeholders. 

“Strong, predictable clean energy standards are crucial for helping Arizona attract new businesses and build a booming job market for years to come. Abandoning this rules package takes Arizona’s economic and advanced energy growth drastically off course,” said Shelby Stults, Arizona policy lead at Advanced Energy Economy. “The ACC’s decision creates uncertainty for businesses looking to set up shop in the state and will likely drive up the cost of electricity.” 

The wide-ranging reforms contained in the proposed rules—including a timeline for the 100% carbon-free electricity goals, integrated resource planning reforms, utility accountability, new demand-side resources standards, and more—would have spelled major savings for Arizona ratepayers. A previous analysis commissioned by the ACC even found that transitioning the state to clean, advanced energy options is both “reliable and cost-effective” in the near-term. 

In an unexpected turn, Commissioner O’Connor did not vote for the rules package after working closely with Commissioner Tovar last May to revive the package. Today’s vote will likely see pieces of the rules carved out in other proceedings, such as a docket addressing reforms to the integrated resource planning process, which was also discussed in today’s meeting.  

“Arizonans are already beginning to see the benefits of advanced energy employment, but the industry risks stagnating without leadership from state regulators. The comprehensive energy rules package would have allowed for broad reforms that invigorate Arizona businesses, attract new investment to the state, and ensure a clean, reliable future for all Arizonans,” continued Stults. “AEE encourages the ACC to consider new energy dockets that maximize the benefits advanced energy can offer Arizona.” 

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Topics: State Policy, Regulatory, Press Releases, Arizona