June 8, 2016

Bill Mundell and Tom Chabin express serious concerns about APS rate request

PHOENIX – Arizona Corporation Commission candidates Bill Mundell and Tom Chabin have issued the following statement regarding Arizona Public Service’s (APS) June 1st, 2016 rate case filing to the Arizona Corporation Commission:

“APS is asking the Arizona Corporation Commission to consider an incredibly complex request. We will continue to analyze this request and monitor the proceedings as they begin to move forward for consideration in front of the commission.

However, the single most important matter in this request is obvious: the massive rate increases APS is seeking to impose on its customers. APS is looking to impose an average rate increase of nearly 8% on every customer’s bill in addition to “demand charges” which would levy new fees based on a customer’s highest use of power during any 1-hour period over the month. Overall these increases are estimated to generate $166 million in new annual revenue for APS.

So, with that in mind many questions must be answered as to why APS deserves to increase fees on its customers:

· Why would a company which made $437 million in net income last year need such a large increase in revenues?

· How much will Don Brandt – CEO of APS who made over $9 million in total compensation last year – be making five years from now if this rate request is approved?

· Is the primary responsibility of a publicly regulated utility to its shareholders or the people it serves?

· Can a utility like APS justify a shareholder value increase of $5 billion over a 5-year period while simultaneously asking for large rate increases on low-income and fixed-income people who are captive customers of a monopoly structure?

· APS spent millions of dollars in dark money influencing the last election cycle. How much more money will APS spend on influencing elections in this year and in future years if this rate increase is approved and why should customers be paying for it?

· How much money did APS spend this past year on hiring its twenty-three lobbyists?  How many more lobbyists will ratepayers be subsidizing if this rate increase is approved?

These are just a few of the many questions which must be answered in order to understand how APS can justify such a large rate increase request. Suffice it to say, we have a healthy dose of skepticism about this proposal at first glance, which is exactly why we’re running for the ACC.

We have no allegiances to APS or any other utility. We are running as Clean Elections Candidates and will not take money from utilities or their operatives. As Arizona Corporation Commissioners we will serve the greater interests of the state at all times, and this rate case filing demonstrates why that independence is more necessary than perhaps at any other time in Arizona’s history.”

Additional information is available at www.tomchabin.com and www.billmundell.org.