Thursday, October 21, 2021

Play

Some states entice people back to the workplace by increasing safety standards and the minimum wage; Bannon held in Contempt of Congress; the latest cyber security concerns.

Play

The White House scrambles to quell supply chain backlogs, Republicans block another voting rights bill, and a majority of Americans now believes the Supreme Court bases decisions on politics, not the constitution.

Play

An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

Consumer Groups Seek Help for Jobless AZ Utility Customers

Play

Tuesday, May 5, 2020   

PHOENIX -- Arizona consumer groups want regulated power utilities to use cost savings from lower power demand during the pandemic to provide emergency aid to ratepayers.

The coalition is asking the Arizona Corporation Commission to prevent the state's largest private power utilities from using funds already earmarked for future energy-efficiency programs to pay for a proposed emergency customer relief package.

Diane Brown, executive director of the Arizona Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, said that only would provide short-term benefits that could hurt ratepayers in the future.

"As we hit the hot summer months and a stay-at-home or modified stay-at-home order is in place, it is likely commercial electricity demand will drop, but residential electricity demand will increase," Brown said.

Arizona Public Service and Tucson Electric are projected to save millions of dollars in operating costs due to lower demand. APS said they will discuss a variety of plan options with the commission at Tuesday's meeting. TEC did not respond to a request for comment.

Brown said it's important for state regulators to require the utilities to report net changes in their cost structure caused by lower demand during the COVID-19 crisis.

"The commission should ensure that APS and TEP have considered options such as cost savings due to a reduction in operating and fuel costs," she said.
s
The Arizona Department of Economic Security said more than 400,000 workers have applied for unemployment assistance since the middle of March. More than half of them have had their claims rejected or are still waiting for a response. Brown said the need for help is growing.

"The commission is expected to vote on providing short-term relief this week," she said. "And we hope they will commit to voting on longer-term relief for electric bills through increased energy efficiency next month."

The Arizona PIRG Education Fund, along with coalition partners Building Performance Association and the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, are encouraging unregulated public and co-op utilities across the state to also provide emergency relief to sturggling ratepayers.


Disclosure: Arizona PIRG Education Fund contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Consumer Issues, Energy Policy, Urban Planning/Transportation. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
California, Colorado, New York, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia were selected for the REACH Collaborative for their efforts to serve and support adult learners and demonstrated commitment to equitable student success. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

DENVER - On Wednesday, leaders from Colorado's 13 community colleges joined a national effort to help more of the state's adults get credentials and …


Social Issues

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Today, a virtual summit hosted by the Las Vegas Mayor's Faith Initiative looks at the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous …

Social Issues

HOUSTON -- Many U.S. communities with bustling downtowns were better prepared to weather economic fallout from the pandemic, thanks to a decades-old …


Some labor experts estimate that about 300,000 jobs are outsourced annually by companies based in the United States. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

MILWAUKEE, Wis. -- A Wisconsin group that advocates for working families is launching a new campaign, which connects federal policy to the …

Social Issues

SEATTLE - Constructive conversations online can seem few and far between. Research from the University of Washington explores how the design of …

Advocates for Iowans with disabilities say the caregiver shortage could erase decades of progress in self-advocacy. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

WATERLOO, Iowa -- Advocates for Iowans with disabilities are sounding the alarm over what they describe as a caregiver crisis, pleading with …

Environment

BRAINERD, Minn. - Minnesota boat owners are storing their watercraft for the winter. But that isn't stopping the conversation about responsible water …

Social Issues

INDIANAPOLIS -- As finding a career becomes more difficult for young people, a new report said the U.S. needs a more comprehensive approach to …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021