Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Monday, February 9, 2015

No SOLAR Apartheid: More than 500 protest SRP rate hike

Regular readers of the Arizona Eagletarian already know that Salt River Project's board of directors heard from citizens today about the fool hardy plan to kill rooftop solar. Granted, the SRP spin doctors wouldn't describe the situation quite that way.





Both 12News and KTVK Channel 3 in Phoenix reported on the protest, attended by more than 500 activists.




In the KTVK (azfamily.com) story, the SRP spin was abbreviated thus:
Officials want the hike to create $110 million to help pay off and maintain already purchased coal and gas plants.
They said the added solar fee is to help balance out electricity costs.
That, of course, says exactly NOTHING. SRP wants more money. They could have chosen anything to justify it. To want to hike fees for ANYTHING related to burning coal is an incredibly bad idea.

The "added solar fee" is to help balance out blah, blah, blah. No, the added solar fee is for the sole purpose of killing SRP's competition from rooftop solar. Nothing more. Nothing less.

It's an ALEC strategy. Reported in The Guardian in December 2013,
An alliance of corporations and conservative activists is mobilising to penalise homeowners who install their own solar panels – casting them as "freeriders" – in a sweeping new offensive against renewable energy, the Guardian has learned.
Over the coming year, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) will promote legislation with goals ranging from penalising individual homeowners and weakening state clean energy regulations, to blocking the Environmental Protection Agency, which is Barack Obama's main channel for climate action.
Details of Alec's strategy to block clean energy development at every stage – from the individual rooftop to the White House – are revealed as the group gathers for its policy summit in Washington this week. (emphasis added)
Put another way, with every rooftop solar unit, the demand for what SRP sells diminishes. Obviously, they don't like it. At the end of the video clip (above), SRP's chief flack says the utility has to tackle the problem now or it will just get worse. Well, what will get worse is that SRP will be losing its customer base because not only has the cost of rooftop solar dramatically decreased but battery storage is also becoming more affordable.

This is about disruptive technological innovation that SRP, like APS is trying to fight with political power rather than by innovating and adapting themselves.

Sarah Jean Kutzler and Sam Pstross, one two of the protesters, took these photos today. They speak more plainly, boldly telling the truth, than SRP.



No vote on the plan was taken today. That will come up at the next SRP board meeting, reportedly scheduled for February 26. When I get more specific info on the upcoming vote, I will post it.

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Today it is a case of the grasshopper pitted against the elephant. But tomorrow the elephant will have its guts ripped outLe Loi, Vietnamese emperor, 15th Century

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