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APS price comparison tool costs thousands of customers more money

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PHOENIX – Power supplier Arizona Public Service will be giving thousands of customers a credit on their bills after an online comparison tool encouraged them to choose a more expensive plan.

APS filed a letter with state regulator Arizona Corporation Commission on Tuesday, noting the rate tool had made pricier recommendations to about 12,000 customers for nearly a year.

Affected customers will receive a credit that “will be equal to the difference between what they have paid since switching plans and what they would have paid had they been on their most economical plan,” the company said in the letter.

That plan comparison tool has been taken offline.

The company said “the online APS rate compare tool was relying on incorrect information and, as a result, has provided certain customers with inaccurate rate plan recommendations since February 2019.”

APS said it only learned of the tool’s inaccuracies Nov. 15, in a letter from Commissioner Justin Olson.

Olson wrote the commission had been alerted that on at least two customers’ bills, “the system dramatically miscalculated the customers’ annual cost under the Saver Choice Max Plan. As a result, the system informed customers that other plans would be more cost effective when, in fact, the other plans would have cost the customers hundreds of dollars more each year.”

Earlier this month, APS asked to raise rates by $184 million starting in December 2020.

APS provides energy for about 2.7 million Arizonans. The rate hike would average would 5.4% per household.

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