ACC — The Arizona Corporation Commission voted today to direct staff to begin a regulatory audit and a rate review of Arizona Public Service Company (APS) following numerous complaints of increased electricity bills by customers of the utility. Today’s decision follows a letter docketed last month by Chairman Bob Burns and Commissioner Boyd Dunn asking staff to inquire whether APS properly and sufficiently executed its customer outreach and education programs.
As part of the Corporation Commission’s approval of APS’s recent rate increase, customer outreach and education were required to inform ratepayers of the different rate plan options. This education was intended to give customers the tools and knowledge to keep their bill increases to a minimum and in some cases perhaps even reduce their bills. Due to the significant amount of complaints of large bill increases received by the Corporation Commission, Commissioners believe that APS may not have adequately performed its outreach efforts and might be earning profits beyond what was authorized in its recent rate case.
Commissioners instructed staff to begin the review immediately using 2018 as a test year because it was the first full calendar year since APS’s rate increase was approved. Commissioners further directed staff to file its final report on the matter no later than May 3, 2019 and even sooner if possible.