Stop the APS rate hike

About the Issue

APS was focused on keeping prices lower while providing service and a grid that was beneficial to all. Sadly, the new leadership team has gone on a very different path, fully embracing the Tom Steyer/Bernie Sanders agenda.  Oddly, they now want to California our Arizona with crazy gimmicks, that are sure to cost the ratepayers even more money.

Disturbingly it appears that APS is colluding with Tom Steyer to implement a “Green New Deal.” APS has rolled out a near carbon copy of the Steyer agenda and adopted it as their own which will lead to significant rate increases.  We strongly urge you, through your authority, to seek any and all documents and communiques between APS and their agents and Tom Steyer and his agents. While we realize you can’t compel Mr. Steyer, you most certainly can compel APS.

This possible collusion must be uncovered.

Second, the rate increase proposed by APS must be rejected. SRP, a company that provides nearly the same service, does so at nearly 20% lower the consumer cost as APS. Put another way the Arizona Corporation Commission is picking winners and losers by creating a hidden energy tax on millions of Arizonans whose only crime is to live in the service territory of a monopoly that cares not a wit about their customers.

Third, APS’ return on equity must come in line with our new economic realities. As you know APS’ ROE was set at 10% by the Commission. As you also know, APS illegally made over $28.4 million dollars by exceeding the 10% ROE. For the large part ROE is determined by the profitability of a given company. The authorized 10% and the illegally gotten 10.45% were obtained during times of fantastic economic growth.

Sadly, due to the global pandemic we are seeing a real financial contraction. No monopoly should be given carte blanche profitability levels while the rest of the economy and the people of Arizona suffer.

We do find with great interest the proposal from Commissioner Dunn on performance based rate design that puts customers first, and urge you to give it serious consideration. Coupled with our new economic reality, and the fact that APS illegally obtained over $28.4 million dollars we would urge you to set the ROE at a baseline of no higher than 7.5% and then institute performance based rates which would allow APS to move their ROE to no higher than 8.5% for a period of 3 years.

Lastly, we would urge you to protect ratepayers. During the previous legislative session Market Freedom Alliance, the Goldwater Institute and the Free Enterprise Club worked to establish a Ratepayer Bill of Rights. Unsurprisingly, APS and their legion of lobbyists and lawyers, went to work to kill this important legislation. As a regulated monopoly APS should be allowed a reasonable profit margin without the need to trick customers into bad rate plans.  While APS apparently opposes their customers having basic rights, we believe it completely unconscionable that they were given $5 million dollars to educate their customers about the true nature of their rates, and then fail so miserably at it.  Since this plan was an abject failure, we urge you to reclaim the $5 million dollars and give it back to customers as a rebate.

We thank you for your consideration and reiterate our request that you uncover any collusion between Mr. Steyer and APS, reject the rate increase, set the ROE at 7.5% baseline and adopt performance based rates and protect ratepayers and all of Arizona in the process.

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