- Arizona Public Service (APS) has admitted to funding non-profits organizations 60 Plus and Prosper, which rolled out a series of anti-solar TV commercials in Arizona.
- As regulators consider the value of the grid to rooftop solar systems and vice-versa, APS and companies such as Solar City and Sunrun have taken their contentious feud over net metering to the TV airwaves.
- The newest ad, launched Monday, equates solar power users with ice-cream topping thieves. In the ad, "children are lined up at an ice-cream truck when a man emerges from his home with his own bowl of ice cream. He approaches the truck and uses its sprinkles and chocolate syrup without paying. In response, the ice-cream man raises his prices for the children," according to the Arizona Republic.
Here are two TV ads paid for by 60 Plus:
And here's one paid for by Prosper:
The Arizona fight over rooftop solar is being played out in other states that offer net metering. The proliferation of distributed generation behind the meter is a fundamental challenge to the utility industry business model. What doesn't help APS make its case is the revelation over the weekend that it was secretly funding nonprofit groups waging the battle against solar.
APS wants regulators to compel customers with solar systems to pay an additional monthly fee of $50 to $100 to cover the cost of maintaining the transmission and distribution system. Solar companies say the fee would cut into financial incentives for using solar and could kill their industry.
“We are in a political battle. We didn’t ask for it. But we are not going to lie down and get our heads kicked in. We are just not. We are obligated to fight. It is irresponsible to our customers not to fight back,” APS spokesman Jim McDonald said.