APS boss says big rate hike necessary to keep up with customer demand

Feb 1, 2023, 12:26 PM | Updated: 2:04 pm

(Facebook Photo/Arizona Public Service)...

(Facebook Photo/Arizona Public Service)

(Facebook Photo/Arizona Public Service)

PHOENIX – The president of Arizona’s largest public utility said Wednesday a proposed monthly base rate hike of at least 23% is necessary but most customers would not see that large an increase.

Arizona Public Service President Ted Geisler told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News the net impact on an average residential customer would be about 13.6%, or roughly $18 per month, if suggested reductions are applied.

“We know there’s never a good time to raise rates for customers … our goal is to continue to keep up with Arizona’s energy growth but keep it affordable as well,” Geisler said.

“Our rates are actually below the national average for residential rates,” he added.

The increase would bring in a net revenue of about $460 million. If approved by Arizona Corporation Commission, the new rates would take effect Dec. 1.

“Our rates are actually at the same level today as they were back in 2018, and yet we’ve invested about $1.5 billion a year to keep up with the growing needs of Arizona,” Geisler said, adding the electric supplier needed to start recovering some of those costs.

“It’s really hard to think about anything else in our households that are at the same price level [as 2018].”

The utility filed the request with regulatory governing body Arizona Corporation Commission on Oct. 28, 2022.

The commission has scheduled a series of public comment sessions for June and July, to be followed by a public hearing on the matter Aug. 2.

“We’ve got quite a while before customers would see the increase on their bill,” Geisler said. 

Customers can find ways to lower their bills or ask for financial assistance on the company website, he added.

Geisler said customers could find ways to lower their bills or ask for financial assistance on the company website.

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APS boss says big rate hike necessary to keep up with customer demand