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Proposition 127 would increase clean-energy usage in Arizona

(AP Photo)

This week, KTAR News 92.3 FM will highlight the five ballot initiatives that will be on the Arizona ballot for the midterm elections next month. On Wednesday, KTAR News’ Griselda Zetino will break down Proposition 127.

PHOENIX — It’s one of the ballot initiatives that has been getting the most attention ahead of the November 6 midterm election – Proposition 127.

It would amend Arizona’s Constitution and require utilities to get 50 percent of their energy from renewable sources, like solar and wind, by the year 2030.

That would be a big jump from the current renewable-energy standard, which requires utilities to get 15 percent of their energy from renewable sources by the year 2025.

So what would this mean for Arizona consumers?

“Proposition 127 is going to significantly increase the amount that you pay for electricity every month when you get that utility bill,” said Matthew Benson, spokesman with No on 127.

He said that means consumers would pay an extra $1,000 per year in utilities bills. He added Arizona already has a mix of energy that’s 50 percent clean when nuclear power is included.

“So we’re moving in the right direction, and we’re doing it in a way that keeps energy affordable,” he said.

Meanwhile, supporters of Proposition 127 have different numbers.

They point to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council that finds requiring utilities to get 50 percent of their energy from renewable sources would save Arizona consumers more than $4 billion on their electricity bills between the years 2020 and 2040.

“We would like to see a massive investment in renewable energy – the renewable energy that’ll be here in the future,” DJ Quinlan, spokesman for Yes on 127, said. “We think passing Prop. 127 would do that while saving money for consumers.”

He added renewable energy, particularly solar, is much cheaper than gas and coal.

“So by expanding and building more cheaper sources of energy, we’ll ultimately save a good amount of money in the long-run,” Quinlan said, adding that renewable energy would also help improve air quality and reduce pollution.

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