- Some customers reported higher bills than expected following regulatory approval of a rate increase for Arizona Public Service. According to the Arizona Republic, those customers report an increase of $16 rather than the $6 approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission.
- In August, regulators approved a rate increase for Arizona Public Service that was expected to raise average bills by $6/month, in addition to a settlement struck between the utility and solar interests. APS told the news outlet that the higher bills were likely the result of higher-than-average temperatures in the summer.
- While The Republic reports a reversal of the increase is unlikely, provisions of state law could allow for a rehearing. The provisions allow customers to petition the ACC if they believe a utility is violating an order; and if the petition obtains 25 signatures from customers, it can automatically start legal proceedings, compelling APS to respond to the complaint.
When the Arizona Corporation Commission approved new rates for APS in August, commissioners issued a statement supporting the decision and highlighting some protections for customers.
State regulators earlier this month voted 4-1 to increase APS rates and approve a settlement with solar advocates that establishes a new compensation scheme and allows customers to lock in their rate for years. The commission's decision means a typical residential customer will see bills rise 4.5%, or about $6/month.
Beth McFall, a consumer advocate for the utility, told the newspaper the utility stands by its estimates. "We are very confident of those numbers," she said.
The ACC's summer decision was not unanimous. Commissioner Robert Burns was the sole vote against it, arguing he was not convinced the additional revenues are necessary. In August, Burns asked the state Supreme Court to overturn the decision. His request stems from longstanding allegations of dark money funding independent groups supporting former Commissioner Doug Little and current ACC Chairman Tom Forese's campaigns. It is thought APS funded those groups, but the utility has neither confirmed nor denied those allegations.
Burns has pressed for campaign finance records from the 2014 election cycle to be made public by the utility and its parent company, Pinnacle West, but has little luck in his quest.