For Immediate Release | 08-06-20
Media Contact | Nicole Capone
Direct | 602-542-0713
E-Mail | NCapone@azcc.gov
Phoenix — The Arizona Corporation Commission held its monthly Open Meeting to discuss and vote on various utilities agenda items. Here is a brief recap of the meeting highlights:
Commission Approves Special Procurement Agreement for Southwest Gas Corporation
On Wednesday, the Corporation Commission approved a special gas procurement agreement (SPGA) between Southwest Gas Corporation (SWG) and UPS Fuel Services, Inc. (UPS). In May 2020, SWG filed an application for Corporation Commission approval of a SPGA under Schedule G-30, optional gas service. As a result of today’s decision, SWG will purchase and deliver natural gas to UPS using its interstate pipeline capacity portfolio and UPS will receive and pay for the natural gas quantities that SWG purchases and delivers. This decision becomes effective the first day of the month following Corporation Commission approval for a term of two years, continuing on a month-to-month basis, thereafter, limited to no more than 24 months of extension.
SWG is prohibited from passing any negative margin that may result from this agreement to SWG core customer base in any future proceeding before the Corporation Commission.
All documents related to this agenda item can be found in the Corporation Commission’s online docket at https://edocket.azcc.gov and entering docket number G-01551A-20-0138.
Beardsley Water Company, Inc. Rate Increase Approved
The Corporation Commission approved a rate increase for Beardsley Water Company, Inc. (Beardsley).
In December 2019, Beardsley filed an application for a rate increase, seeking to increase rates for the first time since 2005. Beardsley is a class D utility providing water service to approximately 1,000 metered customers in a service territory in the area of Grand Avenue and 251st avenue in Maricopa County, Arizona.
The Corporation Commission approved total annual revenues of $850,000, an increase of $287,933, or 51.23 percent, which will result in an operating income of $53, 716, a 6.32 percent operating margin.
A typical residential water customer with a ¾-inch meter and monthly usage of 6,814 gallons will see bills increase from approximately $29.54 to $47.04, an increase of $17.50, or 59.26 percent.
All documents related to this agenda item can be found in the Corporation Commission’s online docket at https://edocket.azcc.gov and entering docket number W-02074A-19-0317.
Truxton Canyon Water Company Rate Increase Approved
The Corporation Commission approved a rate increase for Truxton Canyon Water Company (Truxton).
In September 2018, Truxton applied for a rate increase. Truxton is a Class D utility providing water service to approximately 925 residential and commercial customers in the vicinity of Kingman, Arizona in Mohave County. Prior to this application, Truxton was operating under a rate structure that was approved in 2014.
The Corporation Commission approved total revenues of $557,762, an increase of $46,603, or 9.12 percent, which results in an operating income of $64,024, for a 10 percent rate of return on the Company’s rate base and an 11.48 percent operating margin. A typical water customer with a 5/8 x ¾-inch meter and a median monthly usage of 3,361 gallons will see monthly bills increase from $19.11 to $20.67, an increase of $1.86, or 9.72 percent.
All documents related to this agenda item can be found in the Corporation Commission’s online docket at https://edocket.azcc.gov and entering docket number W-02168A-18-0308.
Johnson Utilities, Update from Interim Manager
During an update from Johnson Utilities, LLC, the company’s Interim Manager, EPCOR, informed the Arizona Corporation Commission that water pressure issues have and will be continued to be addressed (with added pumping capacity and booster stations - although some pressure issues can only be resolved by upsizing current infrastructure). EPCOR also reported improved water quality.
EPCOR continues to monitor developments involving the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure safety measures are taken to protect both employees and customers.
Regarding the company’s customer care and outreach, overall customer satisfaction is at an all-time high of 88 percent.
All documents related to this agenda item can be found in the Corporation Commission’s online docket at https://edocket.azcc.gov/and entering docket number WS-02987A-18-0050.
APS Gives Rate Comparison Tool Update and Discusses Customer Service Initiatives
Daniel Froetscher, president and chief operating officer for APS, informed Commissioners that all refund checks have been issued to the customers who were or may have been placed on less-than optimal rate plans as a result of using the company’s initial online rate comparison tool. The company credited customers for the amount they overpaid and issued customers an additional $25.
The company's new rate comparison tool, which launched on February 3, 2020, recorded a total of 76,000 hits from the middle of June through the end of July. A total of 7,200 customers made changes to their rate plans since that tool launched. 49.2 percent of APS customers are on their most economical rate plan.
APS held a supplemental stakeholder meeting to follow up on questions raised by stakeholders during the company's regularly scheduled June 26 meeting. The July 10 meeting topics included the company's plans for payment arrangements when the summer disconnection moratorium ends in October and an update on delinquent accounts.
APS will provide a six-month payment arrangement as its default at the end of the current summer disconnection moratorium to assist APS customers through 2020.
APS customer service teams are available by phone weekdays from 7 a.m.to 7 p.m. However, the company is planning on launching a 24/7 customer service voice response line. This line will allow customers to address their customer service concerns regardless of the day or time.
All documents related to this agenda item can be found in the Corporation Commission’s online docket at https://edocket.azcc.gov and entering docket number E-01345A-19-0003.
A complete list of agenda items and a broadcast of the Commissioner’s August 5, 2020 meeting is available on the Corporation Commission’s website: http://azcc.gov/live.
The Arizona Corporation Commission was established by the state’s constitution to regulate public utilities and business incorporation. The Corporation Commission is Arizona’s co-equal, fourth branch of government. 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://azcc.gov.