Aztec takes steps to readjust the base rate residents with solar panels pay for electricity
AZTEC — Aztec Utility Director Delain George said the city hopes to promote solar in the city by bringing the rates in line with what non-solar customers pay and by buying excess solar produced by customers.
The City Commission voted unanimously to move forward with the process of changing those rates. The new rates will go into effect on Jan. 1 pending final commission approval. The meeting can be viewed on the city’s YouTube channel.
This comes after the city had for years defended its rates during public meetings as a way of preventing non-solar customers from subsidizing the cost of providing service to solar customers. The higher rates for solar customers were based on average electric use and were recommended by consultants the city hired in 2016.
However, the City Commission has been discussing changing the rates for several months and Mayor Victor Snover has been pushing for the change in rates. During the meeting, he said the change in rates treats all customers the same and he believes it will work out well for everyone.
Currently, residential customers who have solar panels on their houses pay a base rate of $38 while customers without solar panels pay $25.75. Once the change takes place, the solar customers will pay a base rate of $25.75.
The city is also adding in net metering, which allows Aztec to buy power from the customers when the solar panels are generating more electricity than the customers are using. This will be purchased for 4.25 cents per kilowatt hour, which is the same rate the city pays Guzman Energy to purchase power.
George said the change will not have any significant impact on city revenues.
There are less than half a dozen Aztec utility customers who have solar panels on their residences.
Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at email@example.com.
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