Arizona Corporation Commission Approves APS Rate Hike

On Thursday evening, the Arizona Corporation Commission voted 4-1 in favor of a requested rate increase from APS.

According to the Arizona Corporation Commission, there will be a rate increase for Arizona Public Service Co. residential customers resulting in an approximate $10 to $12 increase in their average monthly bill.

The increase was approved by a vote of 4-1 by the commissioners. Additionally, they passed a contentious amendment which includes a monthly fee of $2.50 to $3 for homeowners who have rooftop solar panels.

The decision made by the utility regulators occurred following a lengthy 11-hour public hearing, during which approximately 45 individuals from residential, commercial, and special interest backgrounds expressed their opinions. Additionally, the commission received over 2,000 written responses during a 20-month period.

In the previous year, there was a significant increase in demand for utilities in Arizona due to the extreme summer temperatures breaking records.

The rise in temperature contributed to a 22% growth in third-quarter earnings for Pinnacle West Capital Corp., the publicly traded corporation that holds ownership of APS.

The rate increase was met with opposition from Commissioner Anna Tovar, who cast the sole dissenting vote. She justified her decision by stating that she could not endorse a measure that would result in higher costs for customers.

In spite of her initial reluctance, Commissioner Lea Marquez-Peterson ultimately voted in support of the rate plan, acknowledging its importance in enabling APS to make essential investments in infrastructure.

The solar amendment was approved by the commission with a 4-1 vote, with Tovar being the only dissenting member.

APS released the following statement:

Today marks the completion of a more than a year-long public process on how APS will continue to provide our approximately 1.4 million customers with reliable and resilient power. This adjustment will allow us to continue to provide reliable energy, recover costs already spent to maintain and upgrade the electric system and invest in infrastructure for the future. While we realize it is never a good time to increase rates and this change will impact customers differently, we included increased assistance to our most vulnerable customers in this rate case.
APS spokeswoman

At this point, there has been no formal date announced as to when the rate hike will go in effect.