Fact-Checking Prop. 127: Solar Energy and Arizona's Future

Sabrina Lopez
October 23, 2018
3 min read

[Originally published on October 23, 2018, | Updated on January 24, 2024 - 1 min read]

Fact-Checking Prop. 127: Solar Energy and Arizona's Future

In the debate over Arizona's energy future, Proposition 127 has been a hot topic. As we approach another crucial voting period, let's demystify the facts and dispel the myths surrounding this proposition and its implications for solar energy.

1. Claim: Prop. 127 Will Spike Energy Costs

Contrary to the scare tactics suggesting a $1,000 annual increase in energy costs, data from similar "Mountain States" (Colorado, New Mexico, Montana) with advanced renewable energy initiatives indicates no significant rate spikes. These states often have comparable or lower energy costs than Arizona. Thus, the claim that Prop. One hundred twenty-seven will cause electricity rates to skyrocket lacks substantial evidence.

2. The Urgency of Renewable Energy

Prop. 127 is more than a regional issue; it's about taking a stand against climate change. With a current mandate of 15% renewable energy by 2025, Prop. 127 aligns with global efforts to combat environmental crises. Reports from leading bodies like the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change highlight the dire need for immediate action. Rejecting Prop. 127 means continuing reliance on fossil fuels, locking in CO2 emissions for decades, and compromising the planet's future.

3. The Inevitable Grid Upgrade

Regardless of Prop. 127's outcome: Arizona's energy grid requires an upgrade due to growing populations and energy demands. Utilities typically fund such upgrades through ratepayer contributions. The question isn't about avoiding upgrades but choosing between continued reliance on natural gas or shifting towards a cleaner energy future. In preparation, APS has already published a desired 15-year expansion plan called the 2017 Integrated Resource Plan, which relies heavily on natural gas expansion. Many decades of precedent show that power utilities will continue to raise rates whether or not future expansions prioritize natural gas or renewable energy. 

4. The Cost-Efficiency of Solar Energy

The economic argument strongly favors solar energy. Utility-scale solar costs have plummeted by 30% between 2010 and 2017, making it more cost-effective than new natural gas infrastructure. Furthermore, environmental and health impacts associated with natural gas, like fracking, add hidden costs to its use. Solar energy emerges as the cleaner, safer, and more economical choice.

5. Solar Energy and Job Creation

The notion that Prop. One hundred twenty-seven would lead to job losses in Arizona doesn't stand up to scrutiny. The solar industry has experienced substantial workforce growth, increasing by 168% since 2010. Expanding Arizona's solar portfolio aligns with this trend, promising job growth in the state.

6. The Role of the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC)

Ultimately, the ACC regulates utility rates, not the utilities themselves. Your vote in ACC elections is critical in shaping Arizona's energy landscape. Research the candidates' positions and vote for those aligned with your vision for a sustainable energy future.

Conclusion: Informed Decisions for a Sustainable Future

When voting on Prop. 127 or choosing ACC commissioners, looking beyond advertisements, and diving into credible research is essential. Your decisions today will shape the world we leave for future generations.


  1. Energy cost comparisons - EIA
  2. Climate change report - The Guardian
  3. Maricopa County growth - AZCentral
  4. APS expansion plan - APS 2017 Integrated Resource Plan
  5. Solar cost reduction - NREL
  6. Fracking risks - Inside Energy
  7. Solar job growth - The Solar Foundation
  8. Solar vs. fossil fuel jobs - [Forbes](https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2017/01/25/u-s-solar-energy-employs