Current Utility News
Current News

AIC Briefs

AIC Legal Memo Response to TASC
Friday, 02 October 2015

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


Click the links below to watch the upcoming debate or watch the archived debated.



Corporation Commission Sues EPA Over Carbon Emissions Rule
Corporation Commission Sues EPA Over Carbon Emissions Rule

By: Rachel Leingang October 23, 2015 , 4:27 pm 




The Arizona Corporation Commission, represented by Attorney General Mark Brnovich, is suing the Environmental Protection Agency over a federal rule designed to reduce carbon emissions.

The Clean Power Plan calls on the country to cut carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030. Specific goals were set by the EPA for each state based on its energy portfolio. Arizona’s goal was initially a 52 percent cut in the proposed rule, but the final rule dropped the goal to a 34 percent reduction by 2030.

Still, the reduced goal wasn’t enough to avoid a lawsuit.

The Corporation Commission joined 23 other states, led by West Virginia, in the lawsuit, which was filed today in the U.S. District Court of Appeals’ Washington, D.C. circuit. The other states are Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wyoming and Wisconsin.

“We need to ensure that this kind of federal overreach does not impact our ratepayers,” Corporation Commission Chairman Susan Bitter Smith said in a statement. “This ligation is one important tool the state has to guarantee Arizona’s energy resources will continue to be affordable and reliable.”

APS Won't Give Up Right to Spend on Corp Comm Elections
APS Won’t Give up Right to Spend on Corp Comm Elections

By: Rachel Leingang October 26, 2015 , 10:33 am 


Arizona Public Service’s CEO said the company won’t give up its rights to spend on Corporation Commission elections despite a request from two commissioners to “voluntarily refrain” from electioneering.

APS and its parent company, Pinnacle West, have long used “all lawful means” to engage in the political process, CEO Don Brandt wrote in a letter to the commission.

“Accordingly, a request from governmental officials with great authority over APS to relinquish one means of expression of this right is a serious matter,” he wrote.

Commissioners Bob Burns and Susan Bitter Smith asked regulated and unregulated entities with business before the commission to “voluntarily refrain” from spending on commission elections, saying they’re concerned about the body’s integrity.

In the 2014 elections, more than $3 million flooded the commission races from outside groups to support Commissioners Doug Little and Tom Forese and oppose their opponents. Many speculate the money, spent by dark money groups, came from APS, though the company has not confirmed or denied the spending.

Little, Forese and Commissioner Bob Stump did not support the idea of asking businesses to refrain from spending on elections, saying there were First Amendment concerns. Little also said attempts to require disclosure of spending would be outside the commission’s authority.

Pinnacle West Increases Quarterly Dividend
Third-Quarter Earnings Conference Call Scheduled for Oct. 30

PHOENIX – Pinnacle West Capital Corporation’s (NYSE: PNW) Board of Directors voted today to raise the Company’s dividend by 5.04 percent, or 12 cents per common share annually. This action will result in an indicated annual dividend of $2.50 per share – or $0.6250 per share quarterly. The declared dividend is payable December 1, 2015, to shareholders of record on November 2, 2015.

Earnings Release, Webcast and Conference Call
In addition, as previously announced, Pinnacle West plans to release its 2015 third-quarter financial results before the U.S. financial markets open on Friday, Oct. 30, 2015.

UES Bill Credit to Ease Expected Increase in Natural Gas Usage this Winter
UES Bill Credit to Ease Expected Increase in Natural Gas Usage This Winter 

October 21, 2015 05:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--UniSource Energy Services (UES) gas customers will pay lower natural gas rates this winter thanks to a temporary bill credit resulting from lower wholesale energy prices.

The Purchased Gas Adjustor (PGA) credit of 10 cents per therm will be applied to bills from Nov. 1 through April 30, 2016, helping to reduce bills during a season when residential gas use typically reaches its peak. UES’ request to add the credit was approved yesterday by the Arizona Corporation Commission.

TEP Completes Transmission Line Construction as System Upgrades Continue
TEP Completes Transmission Line Construction as System Upgrades ContinueTEP Blast

October 20, 2015 11:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

TUCSON, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Tucson Electric Power (TEP) has completed construction of a new 500-kilovolt (kV) transmission line in Pinal County that will strengthen service reliability for customers in Southern Arizona.

The Pinal Central-Tortolita transmission line extends about 41 miles from the Pinal Central Substation east of Casa Grande to TEP’s Tortolita Substation, located southeast of the Red Rock area. The $76 million line construction project will help TEP meet future energy needs in Tucson, and the surrounding region, by expanding access to renewable energy and other generating resources.

To build the line, crews suspended high-capacity conductors from more than 180 steel poles and structures – each 150 to 190 feet tall – along a route approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission in 2012. TEP plans to energize the line in November once a $61 million expansion of the Tortolita Substation is complete.

Crane Problem Slows Palo Verde Refueling Process by a Day
Crane Problem Slows Palo Verde Refueling Process by a Day

randazzo-ryanRyan Randazzo, The Republic | 7:11 p.m. MST October 16, 2015

palo verdeWorkers refueling a reactor at Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station earlier this month ran into a small problem with a broken crane that set back the project 24 hours, but otherwise the operation is going as planned, officials said.

Palo Verde’s reactors each need to be shut down and refueled every 18 months, and Arizona Public Service Co. staggers the refueling outages so that one reactor is refueled every spring and one every fall.

Those are the seasons when the power demand is lowest at APS and the other utilities that own part of the plant, which makes them the most economical times to refuel.

The plant is 55 miles west of downtown Phoenix. The fall outage is for Unit 2, and is anticipated to last 29 days. The reactor was powered down at midnight Oct. 10.

It is common to find equipment in need of minor repairs during the outages, and APS officials take the opportunity to conduct preventive maintenance. Their goal is to run each reactor at near full capacity for a full 18 months between refuelings without stopping for mechanical or maintenance issues that could have been prevented.

"We want to find issues before they find us," said Ryan Martell, the outage maintenance department leader.

The nuclear reactors are housed in large, concrete containment domes visible from Interstate 10 west of Phoenix. Inside those domes are large “polar cranes” that stretch across the ceiling and rotate inside to remove large pieces of equipment to access the uranium fuel rods at the heart of the plant.

Commission Mulls Program That Costs APS Millions, Benefits Major Firms
Commission Mulls Program That Costs APS Millions, Benefits Major Firms

By: Luige del Puerto and Rachel Leingang  October 16, 2015 , 4:30 am 

APS Solar Cover

A more muted deliberation involving Arizona’s biggest utility is underway at the Arizona Corporation Commission, this time over a program that allows eight major energy consumers to purchase less-expensive power from a third-party source.

The consumers include the city of Phoenix and big firms like Walmart.

The utility, Arizona Public Service, contracts with the third-party power provider and passes on the charges, plus some minimal administrative costs, to the companies. They leverage the size of their energy needs to get cheaper energy, resulting in significant savings for the companies and, according to APS, $10 million in losses annually.

The program, which is called AG-1 and which was approved in 2012 as part of APS’s last rate case, is set to expire next July. It is capped at 200 megawatts. At the time of its adoption, APS was expected to file its rate case in the middle of 2015, thereby allowing enough time to discuss its merits before the program’s expiration in 2016.

APS Report Breaks Down Costs of Serving Solar Customers
APS Report Breaks Down Costs of Serving Solar Customers

By: Rachel Leingang October 8, 2015 , 2:42 pm 


A typical rooftop solar customer costs Arizona Public Service $118 to serve each month, but the customer only pays about $51 of that, the utility said today.

That leaves $67 of fixed costs for things like generating and distributing power unpaid by solar customers.

APS saves $36 on an average solar customer because of avoided costs for fuel and a decreased burden on infrastructure. The $118 is how much it costs to serve a typical customer after the solar savings.

APS filed a 3-page cost-of-service study today with the Corporation Commission. APS recently abandoned its request to seek an increase in its solar fee, from $5 to $21, after months of disagreements with solar companies and advocacy groups. Instead, the utility is asking the commission to conduct a hearing on the costs it takes to serve solar and non-solar customers.

The cost-of-service study includes “real, measurable numbers. This isn’t theoretical or subjective,” said Greg Bernosky, APS’s director of state affairs and compliance.

Court Rich, an attorney for The Alliance for Solar Choice, which includes solar companies SolarCity and Sunrun, said the cost-of-service study is too sparse for people to glean anything about the cost or benefits of solar.

“It’s just propaganda. That’s not a cost of service study, it’s a summary. … You cannot learn anything from this,” Rich said.

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