- In a memo to the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC), staff recommended that the ACC take no action on both of Arizona Public Service's (APS) proposed changes net metering proposals.
- The memo advised commissioners to "institute an alternative proposal," citing that APS' proposal "represents an attempt at ratemaking outside of a general rate case."
- The memo suggests the value of rooftop solar "can best be determined in the context of a general rate case" and the issue can be revisited during APS' rate evaluation in 2014.
- In response, APS remained defiant, saying in a press release that the report "makes it clear that the current net metering structure [...] must be changed."
The most interesting part of the memo is the conclusion, where staff posits that there are "two forms of value inherent in [distributed generation] systems." This appears to set up an important distinction between "Objective Value" and "Subjective Value." Greentech Media's Herman K. Trabish reports:
This points to an interpretation of DG’s value that diverges from that used by APS and most other utilities. The less controversial “Objective Value” includes “measurable benefits” such as avoided fuel costs. The “Subjective Value” includes “monetary values” for “future benefits that are not easily measurable,” such as better grid security or air quality.
While the memo suggests the case before the ACC may be drawing to a close, the battle to define the value of rooftop solar is just getting more and more heated. What happens in Arizona will be watched closely across the country.