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Proposed Rate Hike By APS Upset Customers At Public Hearing

APS customers raise concerns about potential rate hike at Arizona Corporation Commission hearing.

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Tempers flared at Wednesday’s public hearing over a proposed rate hike for Arizona Public Service customers.

The Arizona Corporation Commission, which regulates utilities, held the hearing in preparation for a vote in the coming months. The proposed hike would raise monthly bills by about $6 a month for a typical user.

APS serves more than two million customers, according to its website, and provides power to people in 11 out of the state’s 15 counties.

Doris Freeman, an APS customer for 40 years, said she’s been opposed to every rate increase APS has proposed.

“APS is incredibly wealthy … and they treat their customers terribly,” Freeman said. I was working two low-wage jobs, until I could find a better job, and I was getting behind on bills. I was $30 short on my bill, and they refused to work with me, and they cut my service. ”

In January, the company proposed an increase that would work out to $11 a month for a typical customer, according to azcentral.

In early March, APS and other groups settled on a compromise and lowered its requested increase.

One woman noted that her energy consumption had gone down almost a third, but her bill increased by the same amount.

Patti Sills-Trausch, the director of outreach at the Franciscan Renewal Center in Scottsdale, spoke on behalf of herself and the people her nonprofit serves.

“We know through working with them, that when utilities go up, they have to make a difficult choice – between utilities, food, between paying their rent,” Sills-Trausch said. ”

The APS proposal would increase monthly service fees, alter the rate for peak usage and lower compensation rates for excess energy produced by solar panels, among other things.

“These kinds of changes to the incentives will affect our ability to install more panels … (and) where we can save money, we can pour that back into our programs. ”

Diane Brown, executive director of Arizona Public Interest Research Group, had encouraged customers to attend the meeting and voice their opinions.

An APS spokeswoman said the increase will help the company meet customer needs. “Our proposed rate increase and modernized pricing model are necessary to support new technologies while maintaining safe and reliable energy customers expect. ”

The Corporation Commission is set to vote on the rate increase this summer.

Source: APS customers raise concerns about potential rate hike at Arizona Corporation Commission hearing | Cronkite News


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