Make a difference in Arizona's solar rights.
Make a difference in Arizona's solar rights.

Solar Advocacy: SRP: Let your customers vote

What is happening

The Salt River Project (SRP) provides electricity service to more than one million customers in the Phoenix metro area. But only a tiny fraction of those customers – just 1.24% of eligible voters, representing an even smaller share of all SRP customers – vote in its elections. That needs to change.

SRP holds elections every two years for its board of directors and council members. These people are responsible for governing the utility. They make important decisions – from setting your electricity rates and credits for rooftop solar to determining how quickly new solar projects get connected to the grid.

Their decisions impact all SRP customers, but many SRP customers aren’t even allowed to vote in the utility’s elections. 

While SRP has vastly expanded its service territory over the years, it hasn’t given those new customers the ability to vote. Only landowners in its historic service territory have the right to vote in SRP’s elections, and the weight of their votes are proportional to how many acres of land they own. That means about 40% of SRP’s customers – including renters and folks in the utility’s current, but not historic, service territory – have no say at all in their utility’s governance. Folks who live on small plots of land in more urban parts of SRP’s territory are also disenfranchised. They may be able to vote if they own their home, but their vote will count much less than that of a rancher with hundreds of acres in a more rural area. 

This system is outdated and unjust.

To make matters worse, SRP does very little to help its customers participate in elections.  It does no education or advertising to ensure that customers know about elections and how to vote. And voting itself can be difficult. For example, while SRP allows customers to vote by mail, they don’t automatically mail out ballots to all eligible voters.    

What you can do

It’s high time for SRP to modernize its election rules. It can and should expand eligibility so that all customers in its current service territory can vote, get rid of its outdated acreage-based vote allocation system, and make it easier for eligible voters to cast a ballot. 

SRP is only accountable to its customers. Members of the board need to hear from you. Reach out to your elected utility leaders and urge them to change SRP’s election rules.

Take action!

Less than 1% of Salt River Project customers participated in the most recent election. Urge SRP to change this by modernizing its elections.