AARP works to fight to keep electric costs down

APS is currently asking for approval to impose higher residential electric rates; a near doubling of the fixed charge portion of monthly basic rate plan electric bills, and imposing restrictions on rate plan choices for new customers.

You don’t let the cell phone company pick your rate plan. So you wouldn’t want APS to either – especially if it restricts your choices for 90 days.

These complicated proposals are included in a Settlement Agreement now before the Arizona Corporation Commission.  The Commission is expected to render their decision this July.

Thirty of the 40 stakeholders involved in the Settlement Negotiation have signed on to the Settlement.

AARP, with over 870,000 members in Arizona, did not sign on to the Settlement.  These are the parts of the Settlement which AARP believes to be unfair:

First, APS has asked the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) to allow them to increase the fixed “basic service charge” as high as $15 to the monthly bills for new customers on a Basic Rate billing plan. That’s up to a 73 increase!

Customers that use more than 1,000 KWh would pay a $20 fixed charge monthly on the Basic Rate plan!  .

A second major change proposed is to give new residential customers only two rate plan choices when they sign up instead of the normal three.  These would be a Demand Charge rate or a Time of Use rate. The popular Basic Rate option would not be available.  Allegedly customers could switch to the basic flat rate after 90 days but AARP worries few customers will bother even though the two rate plans offered could raise their bills.

AARP believes Arizona families are the best at determining how they need to pay for their power – not the utility choosing for them by restricting their choices.

AARP opposes forcing customers into one plan or another – even for 90 days.

Third, APS wants to charge more for power from 3:00 to 8:00 pm.  AARP has advocated for a more customer-friendly TOU rate with an on-peak period of 3:00 to 7:00 pm.  Arizona families are busy people and should not have to delay the necessary chores of cooking and running the air conditioner to after 8:00 at night.  The time of use on-peak period should end at 7PM, as it currently does, not 8PM.

However, AARP believes its good news for consumers that they decided to drop their request for untested mandatory demand rates.

Send an email to all five Arizona Corporation Commissioners asking them to modify APS’ proposal and eliminate these bad features.


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