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Group calls on governor to oppose solar tax

PHOENIX — The governor’s office had some visitors Friday.

Members of the group delivered over 3,000 petition signatures calling on Gov. Jan Brewer to stop a proposed tax that would add $152 annually to the bill of families who use solar power.

Members of the group say public utilities are afraid that their bottom line is threatened by families who are switching to solar to save money. member Richard Studley of Anthem, Ariz., said the utility companies are being hypocritical.

“The utilities should be helping us,” he said. “They have web pages that state they are pro-solar, but they’re trying to make it unaffordable for residential users like us to afford it.”

Studley said he switched to solar to save money because of his $250-a-month electric bill. He said he’s using about $13 dollars a month in electricity but is paying a lot more than that because of fees that are starting to add up.

“My flat fee for the leasing of the solar panels is $150 a month,” said Studley. “The other fees are about $10 to $20 on top of that. If they keep adding other stuff, I’m back up to the $200 to $250 range, and then it’s not affordable.”

Studley said Brewer is siding with the power companies who favor the tax, instead of the people that she was elected to serve.