On July 20, 2016, seven candidates for the Office of Corporation Commissioner (5 Republicans; 2 Democrats) met at Rio Salado College Conference Center to field questions on their views of major issues confronting Arizona utilities and how they would undertake the responsibilities of regulating them if elected. Three of these candidates will be elected in the November general election to serve a 4-year term on the 5-member ACC.
2016 ACC Candidates Respond to Questionnaire
2016 ACC Candidates Respond to Questions
AIC recently asked the seven candidates running for the ACC to tell us about their views on several issues facing regulation of energy, water and telecommunications utilities in Arizona. In our request to the candidates, we told them we would post their written responses (un-edited) to the seven questions on the AIC website.
Ryan Randazzo, The Republic | azcentral.com 6:03 p.m. MST July 20, 2016
The seven men running for election to the Arizona Corporation Commission debated Wednesday whether it is appropriate for utilities to make secret donations to help elect the people who set their rates.
The candidates for the Arizona Corporation Commission also addressed a variety of other questions at a forum hosted by the Arizona Investment Council at Rio Salado College.
The five commissioners oversee electric, gas and water utilities, as well as securities and railroad crossings in Arizona. Commissioners are elected to four-year terms at the office, and this year three people will be elected.
Two Republican incumbents are running, Robert Burns and the recently appointed Andy Tobin. They are joined by Republicans Rick Gray, Al Melvin and Boyd Dunn.
Three candidates for Arizona Corporation Commission vowed Wednesday to force utilities to disclose the money they spend trying to elect the people who regulate them and the rates they can charge.
Democrat challengers Bill Mundell and Tom Chabin added their support to the proposal that incumbent Republican Bob Burns has been pushing now for months. But Burns has been thwarted by opposition from the four other seated members of the panel who refuse to go along.
“There’s a cloud over the commission,” said Burns, running for a second four-year term, at a debate of candidates.
A proposed settlement filed in Trico Electric Cooperative’s pending rate case would add an estimated $2 per month to the average home bill, by boosting its basic monthly charges 60 percent to $24 while lowering usage-based energy charges.
The proposal by Trico and the staff of the Arizona Corporation Commission would also cut the rate at which customers with new rooftop solar-energy systems are reimbursed for the excess power their systems produce.
The settlement also would add to all residential and small-business customer bills a so-called “demand rate” — based on the customer’s highest monthly usage — though the rate for that charge would be zero.
The Arizona Corporation Commission will hold a meeting Tuesday in Tucson to gather public comment on the proposed Trico settlement, which the full Corporation Commission is expected to consider for approval in August. No other parties to the case have signed onto the settlement.
In typical Arizona Corporation Commission elections in the recent past, candidates ran using Clean Elections funds and teamed up with other wannabe-commissioners as slates to pool resources.
But this year, the Republican side of the commission race defies that conventional wisdom.
Seven people (five Republicans and two Democrats) are running for three open seats. Of the five Republicans, three are using traditional funding, and no slates have formed at this point, about a month and half from the Aug. 30 primary election.
Former Chandler Mayor Boyd Dunn; Bob Burns, an incumbent commissioner who has made a mission to disclose utility electioneering; and Andy Tobin, a current commissioner appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey in January, are all running traditionally. Rick Gray, a state lawmaker from Sun City, and Al Melvin, a former state senator from SaddleBrooke, are running as Clean Elections candidates.
Customers Have New Options to Manage Demand under Approved APS Plan
Plan includes incentives for smart thermostats, LED lighting and HVAC equipment
July 14, 2016 | Phoenix – Customers will have more ways to manage their peak energy demand after the Arizona Corporation Commission Tuesday approved the continuation of Arizona Public Service’s energy efficiency programs and the implementation of five new and expanded measures.