For Immediate Release | 12-19-18      
  Media Contact | Holly Ward      
  Direct | 602-542-3847      
  E-Mail | hward@azcc.gov      
         
 

Arizona Corporation Commission December Open Meeting Highlights

 
 
PHOENIX — The Arizona Corporation Commission concluded its monthly Open Meeting Tuesday after discussing and voting on various water, electric, securities, corporations, and tax reform agenda items. Here is a brief recap of the meeting highlights:
Commissioners Direct Staff to Move Forward with Same-Day Approval of Expedited Online LLC Filings
Commissioners instructed Corporations Division staff to move ahead with a change to its online filing system for LLC's, allowing immediate approval of expedited online filings. Following an update from Interim Corporations Division Director Tanya Gibson at December's Staff Meeting showing that processing times for expedited and regular online filings have come down substantially since the roll-out of a new database system last May, Commissioners were interested in the ability of the division to grant immediate approval of online LLC filings.
At Monday's Open Meeting, Ms. Gibson outlined to Commissioners that it was possible to grant same-day or next-day approval for expedited online LLC filings. Working with the database vendor, the Corporations Division will within the next 30 days work to approve expedited online LLC filings immediately upon receipt of all relevant documents. The division will work to improve efficiencies as other areas of improvement are identified moving forward.
All documents related to this agenda item can be found in the Corporation Commission's online docket at http://edocket.azcc.gov and entering docket number ACC-00000D-18-0271.
Bioenergy Efforts to Expand in Arizona
Commissioners voted to adopt a policy statement addressing the role of forest bioenergy in Arizona and the use of biogas and biomass as a renewable energy resource. In May 2017, Commissioner Boyd Dunn opened a docket to explore this matter to use the woody biomass generated from public lands to create energy for the grid. Through the policy statement adopted today, the Corporation Commission has given a directive to examine having 60 MW or greater of biomass energy developed through renewables. The affected utilities, as defined by REST rules, would be required to acquire their appropriate share of the 60 MW total as determined by a one-time allocation by the affected utilities.
This policy statement is applicable to electric utilities regulated by the Corporation Commission. It is not applicable to Salt River Project, municipal utilities providing electric service, and electrical districts. Regulated electric utilities and non-regulated electric utilities and other interested parties are strongly encouraged to work together to further the policy goals and efforts to use bioenergy in Arizona as a renewable resource.
To view all documents related to this item, go to the Corporation Commission's online docket at http://edocket.azcc.gov and enter docket number E-00000Q-17-0138.
Electric Vehicles Charge Forward
In a move to encourage regulated utilities to invest in electric vehicle infrastructure and develop programs to support electric vehicle charging, Commissioners formally adopted a policy on electric vehicles, electric vehicle infrastructure, and the electrification of the transportation sector in Arizona. Corporation Commission staff outlined the benefits of this policy to include rate designs that reduce peak load and take advantage of times with low priced electricity, increased grid reliability, future possibilities of vehicle to grid integrations, and lower costs to consumers.
To view all documents related to this item, go to the Corporation Commission's online docket at http://edocket.azcc.gov and enter docket number RU-00000A-18- 0284.
Alternative Generation/Buy Through Rate Schedule
Commissioners voted to have three major electric utility companies in Arizona create or modify their alternative generation rate schedules for medium and large size commercial customers.
The Corporation Commission first approved an experimental alternative generation rate schedule for APS, called AG-1, in 2012. The experimental program was developed in response to customer input and allowed Generation Service Providers to provide wholesale power to APS on behalf of large commercial and industrial electric customers. Under AG-1, customers with an aggregated load of at least 10 megawatts would select a Generation Service Provider and negotiate a price. This program was modified in Decision 76295 to be a non-experimental version of the AG-1 program, now called AG-X, and included improvements and expansion to allow more general service customers to participate.
Corporation Commission staff developed a policy statement that would require electric utilities to propose programs similar to the new AG-X program to include medium and large commercial customers. This new program is being referred to as AG-Y.
Benefits of the alternative generation/buy-through program for medium and large commercial customers include increased flexibility for customers working to manage their energy costs while insulating other customers from cost shifting, improved economic health for a business' energy cost savings, and enhanced opportunity for medium and large commercial customers to explore other generation sources.
Following Tuesday's vote, APS, Tucson Electric Power Company, and UNS Electric shall propose an AG-Y alternative generation/buy-through program for medium and large commercial and industrial customers in their next rate cases.
To view all documents related to this item, go to the Corporation Commission's online docket at http://edocket.azcc.gov and enter docket number RU-00000A-18-0284.
Johnson Utilities Interim Manager Update
EPCOR provided Commissioners with an update Tuesday on its interim manager activities over the last month for Johnson Utilities, LLC. EPCOR representative Jason Gellman pointed Commissioners to the interim manager report filed in the docket calling it "complete and comprehensive on where we are." The report details the status of financial payments, payroll updates, and water and wastewater operations. The monthly update also includes a draft capital plan that calls for $101.9 million in water and wastewater infrastructure improvements. EPCOR took over interim manager responsibilities for Johnson Utilities in August 2018 and has been working to improve the San Tan Valley utility company's water safety and quality, customer service, and billing practices.
Find more documents related to this item in the Corporation Commission's online docket at http://edocket.azcc.gov and enter docket number WS-02987A-18-0050.
Direct link to EPCOR's latest Interim Manager report: http://docket.images.azcc.gov/0000194376.pdf.
Service Territory Discussion to go to Hearing
Commissioners unanimously voted to reopen several consolidated dockets to consider whether the Town of Queen Creek should be given a 3-square mile section of Johnson Utilities' service territory. Following discussion between EPCOR, the interim manager for Johnson Utilities, and representatives from the Town of Queen Creek and Johnson Utilities, Chairman Tom Forese made a motion to reopen the dockets and send the matter to a hearing to determine the appropriate handling of the issues presented.
The Town of Queen Creek filed an application in August to amend the Johnson Utilities' Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (CC&N) by deleting three properties whose owners seek to receive water and wastewater service from the Town of Queen Creek. The Town now seeks to add an additional six properties to the request. The Town's application may be consolidated with other Corporation Commission dockets dealing with Johnson Utilities' CC&N.
View the Town of Queen Creek's August application and related documents in the Corporation Commission's consolidated docket: WS-02987A-00-0618, W-02234A-00-0371, W-02859A-00-0774, W-01395A-00-0784 and WS-02987A-99-0583 are CONSOLIDATED. Additional information on Johnson Utilities, LLC's CC&N may be found in docket WS-02987A-18-0329.
McInteer-Simpson Complaint Dismissed
Commissioners dismissed a complaint from a San Tan Valley homeowner against Johnson Utilities, LLC. Amy McInteer-Simpson filed a formal complaint against Johnson Utilities, alleging the company terminated standpipe service at the Edwards Water Plant and broke promises to install water mains to her residence. Ms. McInteer-Simpson and Johnson Utilities engaged in settlement discussions and filed a stipulation on July 26, 2018, indicating that Ms. McInteer-Simpson and Johnson Utilities had reached a confidential settlement agreement and requested that the complaint be dismissed with prejudice. The Corporation Commission approved the settlement and ordered staff to monitor the situation to ensure Johnson Utilities fulfills the agreement it reached with Ms. McInteer-Simpson.
Find more documents related to this item in the Corporation Commission's online docket at http://edocket.azcc.gov and enter docket number WS-02987A-16-0275.
Kohl's Ranch Water Company Application for a Rate Increase
Commissioners voted to approve a rate increase for Kohl's Ranch, a Class E for-profit water company serving approximately 122 customers in a service territory east of Payson in Gila County. The company's current rate structure was established in 2013. Current rates for a median usage residential customer on a 5/8 x 3/4 meter using 286 gallons per month are $24.62. Monday's decision will raise that rate to $27.69, an increase of $3.07 or 12.5 percent. Corporation Commission staff also recommended the company put in place an emergency water augmentation tariff so there is a mechanism for cost recovery should the circumstance arise where the company would need to purchase water during a shortage.
All items related to this agenda item can be found in the Corporation Commission's online docket at http://edocket.azcc.gov and entering docket number W-02886A-18-0262.
Tonto Village Water Company Application for a Rate Increase
Commissioners voted to approve the application of Tonto Village Water Company for a rate increase and financing application. Tonto Village Water Company is a Class E water company serving approximately 181 customers near Payson in Gila County. Current rates were established in 2014. A median usage residential customer using 963 gallons per month will see a rate increase from $20.89 to $24.82, an increase of $3.93 or 18.8 percent.
The Corporation Commission approved the company's request for financing authority to incur long-term debt from the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority of Arizona (WIFA) to replace water system mains that are estimated to be 50 years old. The total cost to replace is approximately $618,377. The order also allows the company to request a loan repayment surcharge which could be approximately $33 per month once the company closes on the loan.
All items related to this agenda item can be found in the Corporation Commission's online docket at http://edocket.azcc.gov and entering docket numbers W-01580A-17-0334 and W-01580A-18-0039.
Arizona Water Company Approval of Updated System Improvement Benefit Plant
Commissioners voted to approve the application by Arizona Water Company to amend its Eastern Group approved System Benefit Plant (SIB) Table 1. Arizona Water Company requested this emergency amendment to its SIB because the Town of Miami is currently conducting construction to replace sewer lines for its municipal system, which will require the Town to remove road surfaces. The company believes it can implement its repairs and replacements at a lower cost now due to the road surface removal than if it would have to remove and replace the road surface on its own. Arizona Water Company had planned to make these improvements within the next ten years had the Town of Miami not moved forward with its own sewer project.
All items related to this agenda item can be found in the Corporation Commission's online docket at http://edocket.azcc.gov and entering docket number W-01445A-16-0443.
LPL Financial, LLC
The Commission ordered LPL Financial, LLC to pay a $499,000 administrative penalty to the state of Arizona for offering and selling unregistered securities and for failing to properly supervise its securities salesmen. In settling this matter, LPL Financial, LLC agreed to undertake a number of actions to reform its practices and repurchase the securities from all injured investors. For more details regarding the settlement, view the full text of the Corporation Commission's order S-21062A-18-0365.
A complete list of agenda items and a broadcast of the Commissioner's December Open Meeting is available on the Corporation Commission's website: http://www.azcc.gov/live.
 
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ABOUT US
The Arizona Corporation Commission was established by the state's constitution to regulate public utilities and business incorporation. The five Commissioners elected to the Corporation Commission oversee executive, legislative, and judicial proceedings on behalf of Arizonans when it comes to their water, electricity, telephone, and natural gas resources as well as the regulation of securities, pipeline, and railroad safety. To learn more about the Arizona Corporation Commission and its Commissioners, visit http://www.azcc.gov.