Renewable energy was a hot topic during this past legislative session. Strides were taken, but there were also setbacks. Here are a few of the major legislative updates that will impact Arizona’s clean energy future:
Arizona Renewable Energy Standards Initiative
A proposed initiative aims to raise Arizona’s renewable energy usage. The current Renewable Energy Standard requires electric companies to get 15 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2025. The new initiative wants to increase this requirement to 50 percent by 2030. The proposed increase in renewable energy would match California’s energy goals. This initiative is not yet on the ballot for November 2018.
The proposition of this measure sparked pushback from Arizona power companies. Their response to the initiative was House Bill 2005.
House Bill 2005
House Bill (HB) 2005 was created to work around the proposed clean energy initiative. This bill would fine utility companies between $100 and $5,000 for not complying with the initiative. Critics say HB 2005 could be used as a way for utility companies to save money and disregard renewable energy standards, as it would be relatively cheap for them not to comply. Governor Doug Ducey signed the bill on March 23, 2018.
Looking to the Future
The upcoming Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) election will greatly impact future energy policies in Arizona. The ACC has authority over utilities. When the commission regulates utilities, they also regulate the progress made toward Arizona’s renewable energy goals. The ACC has five total seats, and two of these seats are up for election in the race on November 6, 2018. Electing candidates who promote clean energy will increase our progress toward a more sustainable future for Arizona.
Like the ACC election, the Central Arizona Water Conservation District (CAWCD) Board election is critical for the future of Arizona and sustainability. The CAWCD operates a system of canals that run from the Colorado River throughout Arizona, supplying water to municipalities, agriculture, and industry. The Central Arizona Project is the largest purchaser of electricity in the state, and the Board makes important decisions about where this energy comes from. Some candidates are committed to ensuring this energy comes from renewable sources as much as possible. Water is one of the most precious resources in our state, and it is critical to elect candidates who are committed to sustainable and smart policies to ensure a healthier and stronger future for Arizona.
The past legislative session has been a busy one for renewable energy! We can’t wait to see what the rest of the year has in store. Stay tuned to our blog, Facebook, and Twitter for updates on policies and news surrounding solar and energy in Arizona.