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Power Customers Can Call In Comments on APS Rate Case

Arizona Public Service is a publicly held energy corporation that serves 2.7 million Arizonans in 11 counties. (Paul/Adobe Stock)
Arizona Public Service is a publicly held energy corporation that serves 2.7 million Arizonans in 11 counties. (Paul/Adobe Stock)
July 27, 2020

PHOENIX -- Ratepayers in 11 Arizona counties have the opportunity this week to comment on a controversial $184 million rate increase proposed by Arizona Public Service. The Arizona Corporation Commission is accepting telephone-only comments at a hearing on the pending case between 6 and 8:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.

Diane Brown, director of the Arizona Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, said the proposal contains few - if any - benefits for Arizona ratepayers.

"Ninety-five percent of customers can expect a bill increase between 3% to 6% if the commission approves the APS rate case as proposed," Brown said.

Brown believes APS rates already are too high and the company is too focused on revenues rather than properly serving its 2.7 million Arizona customers. APS officials say they need the income to provide service to Arizona's growing population and to meet renewable-energy goals.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Corporation Commission is holding all public hearings online.

Brown said it's important for commissioners to hear from ratepayers about their experience with the power utility. She said APS needs to shift its focus.

"Stop spending in all elections, improve customer communication, reduce the monthly service charge and increase opportunities to save money," she said. "In short, APS needs to prioritize ratepayers over shareholders."

She said ratepayers should dial in to the hearing about 15 minutes before the comment period opens to get a spot in the queue, collect their thoughts and stick to subjects related to the rate case. Each caller will have three minutes to speak.

"Be respectful. Be concise and speak to the issue at hand," Brown said.

Ratepayers also can submit their comments in writing over the next few weeks. For instructions on making a comment, visit AZCC.gov and click on the "Cases and Open Meetings" tab. The call-in number for comments is 866-705-2554.

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.
Mark Richardson, Public News Service - AZ