I read the opinion piece in your paper “APS rate case should reflect customer needs” and want to add my two cents.
For 35 years, I have worked to advance smart energy policies in Arizona for government, with NAU and on behalf of both business and non-profit entities. In my opinion, what APS is proposing would move us backward, not forward.
The commentary points out disincentives toward energy efficiency in the APS rate case. In particular, I agree that a higher mandatory monthly fixed charge goes against the principle that those that use more electricity should pay more for their electricity. Fixed charges should be kept low and should be used primarily to cover basic services such as billing. A 73 percent increase – what many residential customers would pay for the fixed charge – is excessive and unreasonable. Furthermore, if the fixed charge is increased, residential and business customers will have less disposable income to invest in energy efficiency, which could otherwise save them (and APS) money.
I also want to highlight the benefits of time-of-use (TOU) rate plans. When an APS ratepayer chooses to be on a TOU plan by avoiding electricity use when demand is the highest, they are able to save money and help APS avoid high new capital costs. To be most successful, the TOU block needs to be shorter than the proposed five hours, which are excessive and unreasonable.
I hope the Arizona Corporation Commission votes to “reflect customer needs” by adopting smart energy policy.