Editorial: Corporation commissioners, give us a break | The Daily Courier – Arizona News

Editorial: Corporation commissioners, give us a break | The Daily Courier – Arizona News

The APS rate case, expected to be voted on Tuesday, Aug. 15, will include not only the subject of a rate increase but also whether people who refuse use of a “smart meter” will pay a fee, among other issues. (Tim Wiederaenders/Courier)

Arizona Public Service has been center-stage lately — from news of the ongoing subpoenas seeking APS disclosure of alleged 2014 election influences to its complex rate case, which the Arizona Corporation Commission is expected to vote on Tuesday, Aug. 15.

While the former — ACC investigations/subpoenas pushed by Commissioner Bob Burns and opposed by the other four members — bounces between courts over who has what power, the rate case is much more straight-forward.

Though still convoluted, it boils down to what we will end up paying.

The APS rate case has shifted in recent months, including a partial settlement between APS and other parties, in which APS agreed to a rate hike of $6 per month on average for residential customers, rather than the $11 it sought in its 2016 application. Yet, the case is also expected to determine the monthly basic service charge and rates; if new customers get to choose their initial rate plan; and if residential and small business customers will have control over their energy use.

Central to this is the new customer plan. APS originally asked that residential customers use a demand rate that charges a fee based on the highest hour of electricity use during peak hours of the month.

The question is if the ACC will impose the part of the settlement — or offer its own amendments — that would force new APS…

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