Current Utility News
Current News

AIC Briefs

AIC Letter Opposing Recommended Dismissal of APS Solar Tariff
Tuesday, 11 August 2015

AIC Intervention in UNS-Electric Rate Case
Tuesday, 21 July 2015

AIC Supports APS Net Metering Cost Shift Solution
Friday, 05 June 2015

AIC Supports TEP Net Metering Tariff
Monday, 1 June 2015

Letter of Opposition to AG-1 Extension
Monday, 8 December 2014

AIC Comments on 111(d)
Tuesday, 2 December 2014

AIC Four Corners Surrebuttal
Monday, 21 July 2014

AIC Testimony on Four Corners
Friday, 20 June 2014

AIC Testimony on UNS/Fortis Settlement
Monday, 2 June 2014

AIC Letter on Net Metering
Monday, 4 November 2013

Deregulation Responsive Comments
Thursday, 17 October 2013

Deregulation Comments
Wednesday, 9 October 2013


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SRP Partners with BaseLayer to Showcase New Data Center Concept
SRP Partners With BaseLayer to Showcase New Data Center Concept

Ryan Randazzo, The Republic | azcentral.com 10:51 p.m. MST August 26, 2015


baselayerAs people increasingly use the Internet for everyday functions, from shopping to social media, banking and even fitness apps on their phones, the need grows for massive data centers to handle all that information.

Salt River Project and a recently formed company called BaseLayer are unveiling a new concept this week in Gilbert that they hope can ease the demands on the power grid as data centers expand proliferate.

They are opening a prototype SRP DataStation, a modular data center connected directly to utility infrastructure, ensuring reliable power without expanding the electric grid.

Data centers are rapidly expanding as companies and consumers increase their use of the Internet. Metro Phoenix is a popular place for data centers because of its low instance of natural disasters and relatively inexpensive power.

They represent about 2 percent of the power used in the U.S. today and could grow to 20 percent in the next 15 years.

Read more...
 
Arizona Appeals Court Says Some Utility Fees Unconstitutional
Arizona Appeals Court Says Some Utility Fees Unconstitutional

randazzo-ryanRyan Randazzo, The Republic | azcentral.com 11:43 p.m. MST August 26, 2015

 appeals courtUtility regulators will discuss Thursday whether to continue their legal fight in support of automatic rate increases for water companies after being dealt a defeat in the Arizona Court of Appeals last week.

The Residential Utility Consumer Office sued the Arizona Corporation Commission last year over a decision to grant a rate hike to Arizona Water Co. affecting about 33,000 customers in Apache Junction, Superior, Miami, Bisbee, Sierra Vista and other rural areas.

The Arizona Corporation Commission regulates utilities and approves their rates. RUCO is a state office created to stand up for consumers in the rate cases, which proceed much like court cases.

The legal defeat utility regulators suffered on water company rates could have a far broader impact on utilities and their customers, because the court decided that some automatic rate changes violate the state constitution, which requires the five elected commissioners to evaluate rate increases.

“We are spending a lot of time with our lawyers to find out exactly what we are supposed to do, given that decision,” said Paul Walker, a lobbyist who represents several water utilities. Walker had tried to help settle the RUCO lawsuit with the commission before the judges decided the case.

Many other water and power companies use automatic rate adjustors to raise prices in between their regular rate cases. In light of the decision, it’s unclear whether those companies can continue to charge those fees.

“It’s a small case for a small water company, but the ramifications of that decision are monstrous,” said Pat Quinn, the former director of RUCO, who initially sued the Corporation Commission.

“The way some of us, most of us, interpret that order says that it affects adjustor mechanisms, which electric, gas and water companies have been putting in for years,” he said.

That could even include the so-called “lost fixed-cost recovery” fee charged by Arizona Public Service Co., which is the fee that was increased last year to $5 a month on average for solar customers, he said.

“That might be one we want to talk about,” Quinn said.

Read more...
 
ACC to Rule Thursday on EPCOR Wastewater Rate Hike Request
ACC to Rule Thursday on EPCOR Wastewater Rate Hike Request

Posted: Tuesday, August 25, 2015 12:47 am

By NEIL YOUNG The Daily News

FORT MOHAVE — The Arizona Corporation Commission will decide Thursday how much to increase the monthly wastewater rate in its Mohave district. The district serves 1,450 customers in a handful of Fort Mohave subdivisions.

The current rate of $55.55 will increase to an amount as high as $77.25. EPCOR submitted a proposal to increase the rate to $81.55. The Residential Utility Consumer Office, whose mission as described on its website is “to protect the interests of residential electric, natural gas, telephone, water and wastewater utility ratepayers,” recommended the monthly charge be raised to $71.37. ACC staff recommended $76.12, but after reviewing EPCOR’s 107-page rate case document, administrative law judge Dwight D. Nodes recommended the $77.25 rate.

EPCOR valued the Mohave system at $4,798,344. Nodes raised the value to $4,921,474, with EPCOR receiving a 6.14 percent return on its investment. Those appraisals are “inflated,” said Mehdi Azarmi, developer of Fairway Estates, who coordinated a letter-writing and petition campaign to try to convince the ACC to set a much lower rate.

Read more...
 
My Turn: APS Serves Arizona. Solar Guys? Not So Much
My Turn: APS Serves Arizona. Solar guys? Not So Much

Don Brandt, AZ I See It 2:33 p.m. MST August 24, 2015

Brandt OPEDArizona Public Service CEO: If the SolarCity CEO Wants to Compare Companies, I’m All Game.

SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive invites readers of the Arizona Republic to compare his company’s financial management with that of APS (Aug. 19 My Turn). I appreciate the opportunity to take him up on that offer.

Arizona Public Service has a record of service that goes back more than 125 years. Every year we contribute more than $3.4 billion to the state’s economy through jobs and investment.

We spend $1 billion annually on goods and services from local Arizona companies, and $300 million with diverse suppliers. We are the largest taxpayer in Arizona, at more than $500 million last year.

And yes, we earn a profit, which allows us to reinvest in Arizona’s growth and give back to our communities.

On the other hand, SolarCity’s business model relies on literally billions of dollars in subsidies from taxpayers and electricity customers.

Despite that generous government support, the company lost $56 million last year. In its quest to become profitable, it relies on aggressive sales tactics for long-term leases that place a tremendous amount of risk on consumers.

Read more...
 
Tucson Electric Solar Net-Metering Change to Wait
Tucson Electric Solar Net-Metering Change to Wait

8/18/2015 • By David Wichner Arizona Daily Star

TEP delay

Tucson Electric Power Co. must wait for its next full rate case to request changes that would cut savings for customers with rooftop solar arrays.

In the meantime, TEP can’t tell customers there’s a cutoff date when they may face higher bills, the Arizona Corporation Commission ruled Tuesday.

TEP’s proposal to cut the excess-energy credits it gives rooftop solar customers was formally withdrawn by TEP with the commission’s approval, after the agency’s staff and solar advocates opposed the move.

The net-metering issue will now be heard in a full rate case TEP plans to file by year’s end.

But the Corporation Commission on Tuesday also prompted TEP to alter a disclaimer about potential cost increases for solar customers that some said had thrown cold water on the local solar market.

In its online marketing materials, TEP notified customers that it had filed to change the net-metering policy, and those changes would apply to those who filed to interconnect new solar arrays to TEP’s grid after June 1 of this year.

Read more...
 
Regulators Delay APS Solar-Fee Decision
Regulators Delay APS Solar-Fee Decision

Ryan Randazzo, The Republic | azcentral.com 10:18 p.m. MST August 18, 2015

accUtility regulators voted Tuesday to set hearings that could lead to a vote on higher fees for Arizona Public Service Co. customers who install solar, but only after an analysis of the costs and benefits of rooftop panels.

The regulators split 3-2 on the matter.

APS, the state Residential Utility Consumer Office and other utility supporters hoped the five elected Arizona Corporation Commission members would raise the fees that solar customers pay to an average of $21 from about $5 today.

But the rooftop-solar industry, many of its workers and solar advocates oppose the measure. They want a full review of the costs and benefits of rooftop solar, which they hope will determine that the technology should not be subject to additional fees.

They wanted the matter addressed in the rate-increase case APS will file next year, when adjustments of rates for all customers will be considered. But the regulators moved to act on solar first outside the rate case.

Commissioner Doug Little, who won election last year and was not involved in the initial APS hearings in 2013, filed an amendment Monday to commence a proceeding to determine whether there is a cost shift from solar to non-solar customers, and if so, its size.

“Delaying the conversation another year basically is a disservice and not in the public interest,” Little said before his motion was approved.

Read more...
 

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