Changes Coming for APS Electrical Customers
If you’re an Arizona Public Service customer, you’ll see some changes coming in March, 2017.
Customers will get a new, ten-digit account number, and will have to re-enter their banking information the first time they use one of the self-serve pay options. The old account numbers will be linked to the new accounts for a period of time, but customers who want information about their account prior to January, 2016 will need to save copies of those bills as that information will no longer be available after March.
APS rolled out their new smartphone app which will provide users with information about their electrical usage and the ability to pay their bill, as well as providing electrical tips, outage alert and information. Current tips include information about cooling, heating, pools and spas, water heating, appliances, lighting, and cooking.
APS has asked for a $166 million dollar rate increase, although they’ve faced opposition from both the Arizona Corporation Commision and the Residential Utility Consumer Office. The Residential Utility Consumer Office actually recommended a decrease in rates. Additionally, APS would like nearly all of their residential customers to be assessed a surcharge, or ‘demand rates’, which base their entire bill on their highest usage during peak rates,. Rather than their actual usage. Opponents of this plan say it’s ridiculous to demand consumers to pay for a rate which they can’t easily determine and isn’t indicative of their actual usage. Their stance is that when people come home from school and work, it is natural for them to turn on appliances.
APS last received a rate increase in 2012.
But, there was good news for APS in December: the Arizona Corporation Commission voted in favor of APS to end net metering, resulting in APS no longer having to give solar credits to solar power homeowners at the retail rate. The Corporation Commission settled on a lower figure which reflects the costs of the electrical infrastructure and other expenses incurred by APS. Current solar customers will be unaffected for the first 20 years of usage, but new solar customers will be affected by the change, which some experts believe could change the solar credits given to solar customers by as much as 30%.
APS recently dedicated a $90 million solar power plant 35 miles north of Tucson on Wednesday which will supply power for PayPal and Arizona State University. This is their first project with Paypal, but ASU has a number of ongoing solar projects with the utility giant.