For Immediate Release | 10-01-20
Media Contact | Daniel Schwiebert
Direct | 602-542-3625
REMOTELY FROM TUCSON - Arizona Corporation Commissioner Lea Márquez Peterson applauded her fellow Commissioners last week for supporting an extension of time she proposed that will allow homeowners to lock-in a higher export rate for new rooftop solar systems installed through October 1, 2021.
The decision came as the Commission was expected to reduce the value new rooftop solar customers could lock-in for the generation of excess power they sell back to the grid. Under the Commission’s existing policy, export rates do not change for existing rooftop solar customers, but for customers that have yet to install solar, the value is recalculated every year. Once locked-in, the rate remains the same for ten years.
Due to the economic circumstances surrounding COVID-19, Commissioner Márquez Peterson offered an unexpected game changer for Arizonans that have been looking to install solar, proposing the Commission put a “pause” on the scheduled decrease for 2020 and give homeowners in APS, TEP, and UNS service areas an additional year to install new photovoltaic systems at the current export rate. With resounding support from the rooftop solar industry, the Commission passed Commissioner Márquez Peterson’s proposal by a majority vote.
“Consider it a ‘do-over’ of 2020,” Commissioner Márquez Peterson said. “With the number of furloughs and unemployment claims that have occurred in 2020, I felt many Arizonans, who otherwise would have ‘gone solar’ in 2020, deserved a second-chance to install new solar systems at the current 2020 export rate,” she said.
“This decision was not only a huge win for the rooftop solar industry as a whole, but also for the small businesses that install rooftop solar systems as their primary source of income,” said Márquez Peterson.
“By having my fellow commissioners’ support, I feel we have provided an appropriate response to the challenging circumstances surrounding the pandemic, which has rocked the clean energy industry and made it more challenging for independent contractors to compete on a level playing field,” said Márquez Peterson.
“With over 100,000 home solar systems in the APS service territory alone, the value that solar provides to the grid must be reflected in the price APS pays back to the customer, as well as in the time of day that solar is generated. I encourage any APS customer to try to maximize their value by pairing their rooftop solar systems with at-home energy storage devices, which can help to retain the sun’s energy and deliver power, even after the sun has set.”
To complement the Commission’s decision and help future rooftop solar customers incorporate batteries in the Commission’s extension of time, the Commission also approved a new residential energy storage pilot program also proposed by Commission Márquez Peterson for APS, which will provide up to $2,500 toward the purchase of an at-home battery storage system. The pilot was adopted by a majority of the Commission in a 3-2 vote.
To view Commissioner Márquez Peterson’s amendments delaying the scheduled 10% step-down to utilities’ rooftop solar export rate, click here:
Commissioner Márquez Peterson’s Proposed Amendment No. 1 (APS)
Commissioner Márquez Peterson’s Proposed Amendment No. 1 (TEP)
Commissioner Márquez Peterson’s Proposed Amendment No. 1 (UNS)
To view Commissioner Márquez Peterson’s amendment proposing approval of the residential energy storage pilot program for APS customers, click here:
Commissioner Márquez Peterson’s Proposed Amendment No. 2 (APS Residential Energy Storage Pilot Program)
About Commissioner Lea Márquez Peterson, MBA, IOM:
Commissioner Lea Márquez Peterson was appointed to the Arizona Corporation Commission by Governor Doug Ducey in May of 2019. She is the first Latina to serve in a statewide seat in the state of Arizona.
Lea has been an entrepreneur in our community for many years and served as the President/ CEO of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber from 2009 until November of 2018. The Tucson Hispanic Chamber serves the business community in the bilingual, bi-cultural region of the Arizona-Sonora border and was recognized as the Hispanic Chamber of the Year in 2013 by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Lea is proud to have won a four-way primary race for Congress in Arizona Congressional District 2 in 2018. Prior to her leadership at the Chamber, she previously served as the Executive Director for Greater Tucson Leadership (GTL) from 2005 to 2009 and owned and operated a Business Brokerage Firm from 2005 to 2009 and a chain of six gasoline stations / convenience stores with 50 employees from 1998 to 2005 in the Tucson region.
Lea has been appointed to serve on the Arizona Judicial Council which advises the Arizona Supreme Court and the Arizona Finance Authority, the state’s bonding authority. She chairs the Board of Directors of Carondelet’s St Mary’s and St Joseph’s Hospitals in Tucson and is the former Chair of the Pima Association of Governments’ Economic Vitality Committee. She serves on the Boards of the University of Arizona Foundation and the Pima County Workforce Investment Board and is the President of the National Association of Women Business Owners in Tucson. She also serves on the national Small Business Development Council advisory board for the U.S Small Business Administration.
She received her undergraduate degrees in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from the University of Arizona, and her Master of Business Administration from Pepperdine University. She resides in Tucson and is married with two children.
The Arizona Corporation Commission was established by the state’s constitution to regulate public utilities and business incorporation. The Corporation Commission is Arizona’s co-equal, fourth branch of government. The five Commissioners elected to the Corporation Commission oversee executive, legislative, and judicial proceedings on behalf of Arizonans when it comes to their water, electricity, telephone, and natural gas resources as well as the regulation of securities, pipeline, and railroad safety. To learn more about the Arizona Corporation Commission and its Commissioners, visit