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APS has flawed billing system
Ms. Carole Chapin got it right (“Something is wrong with electricity rates,” Jan. 20).
After years of advocating low energy consumption devices, offering rebates of various kinds and spending millions of dollars on TV, radio and printed advertising, Arizona Public Service (APS) is now going to penalize consumers for doing what they wanted.
In my most recent bill, APS said they were raising their rates by 26 cents per month for this year and could raise them for the following three years “if they wanted to.” Further reading indicated that if the customer chose their “flat rate” monthly option, the charge would be $2.75 per month. This indicates that in future years, the monthly rate will increase to equal the flat rate charge for a period of four years. These charges are an attempt to recover revenue from “lost sales.” Isn't lost sales a hazard of doing business?
Looking at the accounting in the bill, there are so many “fees” and “charges” that the actual cost of electricity is a becoming a small part.
Before deciding to “modernize,” APS read the meter by physically looking at it and charging each customer about $2 to make that reading.
The meter reading charge is still there, even though they are not paying an employee to drive around and read it, but now, instead of a flat fee, the charge is based on how much electricity was consumed. Also, there is a charge for billing and a charge for metering, all based on how much power was used. My total for this month was $7.32 for only these three charges. There are many other charges on the bill.
By May of 2012, APS had changed over 800,000 meters into electronic meters. These meters can be likened to a cell phone in that APS can access and read the meter by radio. All this data is then entered into their computers and the bill generated. Based on this figure, APS has an income of $5,864,000 PER MONTH ($70,368,000 annually) for these charges alone. There are many other obscure charges on the bill. Their customer base is now over 1,000,000 customers and increasing.
Effective in July, 2012, an agreement was reached with the ACC (Arizona Corporation Commission) that the rates would remain stable for the next four years. The way around any agreement is an added “fee” or “surcharge” and APS certainly knows how to use these. Look at your bill!
Customers should be aware that APS does not pay for all the wonderful rebates and subsidies they offer. The customer is the one that pays, so if your neighbor puts in solar power, you are helping to pay for it. These rebates certainly do not come out of the APS bottom line.
So customers, do your best to go green. You're going to be penalized for it courtesy of Arizona Public Service and the Arizona Corporation Commission.