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Regulator considering end of monopolies for Arizona utilities

(Facebook Photo/APS)

PHOENIX — Imagine utility companies fighting for your business instead of monopolies setting rates in Arizona.

Sound too good to be true?

Arizonans could choose contract lengths and types of energy like solar and wind.

“Any person who uses electricity would be able to purchase the plan that they like,” said Robert Burns, chairman of the Arizona Corporation Commission.

On Dec. 19, the commission will investigate ending utility monopolies in hopes of lowering customer bills.

“The incentive with a monopoly is much weaker, if you will, because they have the customer captured,” Burns said.

He pointed to Texas, which ended utility monopolies, along with 13 other states, as possible models for success.

“You can go into a contract, for example, and set the amount you’re going to pay for electricity for the next three or four years,” Burns said.

“You can go into a plan where you buy power based on the market cost.”

New competition would have to build generation, transmission and distribution components. APS has all three.

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