By Patrick O’Grady for Phoenix Business Journal
Salt River Project will ask its board for a 3.9 percent rate increase for its electricity customers starting next April, as well as a big change for new solar customers who could see less savings from their technology.
The state’s second-largest utility will formally roll out its proposals next week. It would mark the first time the utility has asked its board for an increase since 2012, and it marks a significant break from how SRP has charged electric customers in the past.
Currently SRP lumps all those costs together and then develops a per-kilowatt-hour cost for all customers applied to how much power is used.
That billing method is becoming harder to do as solar adoption is increasing dramatically and SRP finds itself in a similar position as other state and national utilities that are seeing less money going toward fixed costs as a result of new technologies.
The change will mean that, if approved, all SRP customers would pay the same rate for the same basic services. For the vast majority of the utility’s 990K customers it will mean little if any change other than what is on the bill. For the utility’s current solar customers, it also would mean no change.
For any new solar customer whose contract is submitted to SRP after Dec. 8, it likely will mean a much higher bill, although SRP is trying to dampen that increase with changes to rate programs for solar customers to have them better manage both their systems, including design and installation, as well as how they use their electricity.
SRP will formally start the pricing process Dec. 12. It begins a 60-day window of public meetings and culminates in a possible board vote on Feb. 26.
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