More than two dozen groups representing consumers, business, environmental advocacy, public health, tribal community, and others submitted a joint proposal for a strong clean energy plan to utility regulators at the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC). The commission are holding an energy rules stakeholder meeting in Phoenix today.
The groups are urging the ACC to increase the amount of renewable energy powering the state to 50% by 2030 and expand consumer options, including renewables and energy efficiency. The proposal further calls for the state to achieve 100% clean, zero-emission energy by 2045 and 35% energy efficiency by 2030.
Advocates say that their plan to meet more of Arizona’s power needs with competitive, clean energy will mean lower utility bills, more local jobs in a growing new energy economy, and healthier air quality.
“The Navajo Nation is blessed with world-class wind and solar resources,” said Carol Davis, Director of Diné CARE. “Renewable energy will play a central role in helping build a new, sustainable Tribal economy that is in line with Diné fundamental laws and that provides benefits to local communities like coal never did. These Clean Energy rules will help facilitate this transition, giving the people of the Navajo Nation — and all residents of Arizona — an opportunity to reap the environmental and economic benefits of true energy independence.”
The joint clean energy comments were submitted as part of the omnibus rule-making currently underway at the ACC to address a range of electric industry issues. Specifically, the joint comments call for:
- Setting binding standards that require utilities to provide 50% of their power from renewable sources by 2030 and 100% from clean, zero-emission sources by 2045.
- Ensuring that by 2030, 10% of electricity comes from local distributed resources, such as rooftop or community solarand other customer-driven energy options, with a simpler compliance metric to track progress.
- Ensuring cumulative energy efficiency savings of at least 35% by 2030.
- Establishing a more comprehensive and transparent energy planning process, to provide more effective opportunities for public and stakeholder engagement and greater accountability when the ACC reviews utilities’ integrated resource plans.
“We are asking the Arizona Corporation Commission to forge a clean energy future for the health and welfare of ourselves and our children,” said Adam Stafford, Western Resource Advocates’ staff attorney in Phoenix. “Having our utilities generate all of their electricity from emission-free sources by 2045, as we have requested, is achievable and beneficial, and several other Western states have recently done the same. That requirement would help Arizona improve public health and boost the economy by reducing electricity costs, creating good-paying clean energy jobs, and improving air quality.”