AZ Central Wrote:
Arizona Public Service Co. is seeking an $11 monthly rate hike on residential customers and a new billing structure in a rate case filed Wednesday with state regulators.
The hike would bring the utility $166 million more in annual revenue. Customers using 1,160 kilowatt-hours of electricity pay an average of $139 a month now, and that would increase to $150. The $11 increase is an average for all homes across all seasons, and would be higher in summer and lower in winter.
The state’s largest utility, with 1.1 million customers, is asking the five elected officials at the Arizona Corporation Commission to approve “demand charges” on all but about 200,000 residential customers who use the least electricity each month.
The demand rates that APS is seeking would charge less for each kilowatt-hour of electricity a customer uses during the month. But APS would single out the highest one-hour use of electricity during peak hours in a month and assess a fee based on how high that hourly demand reaches.
The utility also is seeking to change the peak hours for customers on time-of-use rates from noon to 7 p.m. in summer to 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Electricity is priced higher on those rate plans during those hours.
For customers who don’t want to actively manage their electricity use and be mindful of their peak demand, APS is proposing a flat rate plan. The utility will average out the last year of electricity use from a customer and bill them the same amount regardless of how much electricity they use, similar to an unlimited data plan for a cellphone.
The rate hike is needed, officials said, to help pay for the additional gas generators being built at the Tempe Ocotillo Power Plant, environmental controls on the Four Corners Power Plant in New Mexico, and other grid upgrades.