Arizona utility wants 25 percent hike in electric rates : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Kingman Daily Miner - News Citizens wants 25 percent hike in electric rates By Ken Hedler Miner Staff Writer The typical residential customer of Citizens Communications Co. in Kingman faces a power bill more than $13 higher a month over a three-year period if the Arizona Corporation Commission approves a 25 percent rate hike requested by the utility. The Arizona Electric Division of Citizens applied to the ACC for the rate hike in response to a $52.3 million increase in the cost of electricity since May. The typical residential customer in Kingman uses 623 kilowatt-hours a month, which costs $49.84 at roughly 8 cents per kilowatt-hour, according to Citizens officials. Citizens, which is selling its electric division to Cap Rock Energy Corp. of Midland, Texas, buys its power from Arizona Public Service in Phoenix. The ACC probably will decide on the rate hike proposal from Citizens within a few months, depending on the workload, said Dean Miller, executive consultant for executive affairs with the commission in Phoenix. Citizens is seeking the increase to pass along the higher costs over three years with the expectation that those costs will drop when the energy supply increases, Citizens officials said during a telephone press conference on Thursday. They indicated spreading out the rate hike over three years will be less burdensome to consumers than a 90 percent hike over a year. The three-year window that we are looking at is looking at the entire Western (power) grid, said Sean Breen, Citizens director of energy services. We expect the supply to catch up with demand. Breen and other officials were referring to the Griffith Energy Project and other natural gas-fired power plants that are under construction or being proposed in Arizona and neighboring states. The power plants, being built by independent companies, will supply power to the 14-state grid operated by the Western Area Power Administration and will not sell directly to Citizens or other utilities. Citizens costs for buying power rose from under 5 cents per kilowatt-hour in recent summers to more than 12 cents during the summer of 2000, company officials said. Passing along the $52.3 million and eliminating a 0.553-cent credit approved by the ACC in December 1999 will add $12.60 to the bill of a typical Kingman residential customer, according to a press packet provided by Citizens.

Besides the $12.60 increase, Citizens residential customers also face an additional charge of $1 to $4 per month under a request from the company to recover future power costs based on a phased-in, 12-month rolling average. The amounts will vary depending on the costs that Citizens pays for power from October through May 2001 as well as customer use.

Citizens, which has about 55,000 electric customers in Mohave County, initially announced plans for potentially higher rates in mid-August after facing higher power bills from APS. ACC economists and other staffers will review the request, and a hearing officer or administrative law judge will schedule a hearing, Miller said. Then that is brought before the full commission for action, Miller said. We either consider staff recommendations, hearing officer recommendations (or) company recommendations, and decide the matter. Citizens also has informed Cap Rock about the rate hike proposal, said Fred Kriess, vice president for government and community affairs with Citizens. Cap Rock Electric Cooperative announced in February that it was buying Citizens electric divisions and converting into an investor-owned utility named Cap Rock Energy Corp. Weve talked to them quite a bit, said John Parker, Cap Rocks chief financial officer. He said the rate proposal probably will not affect the sale.

-- Martin Thompson (, September 29, 2000


I do believe that there is something a little odd here..I helped construct the generation plants which ssupply this power to Kingman..They are all, all of them built in the 70's. And all of them are coal fired! APS has about 7-9 units uo at Joseph City, Arizona. Which they are supplying Kingman from. And their coal comes form their own mines at Black Mountain mesa out on the Navaho Res. The same mine supplies St. Johns and Springerville, Az. Power generation stations (which where Salt River Projects units). And I do not believe that APShas an interest in Palo (Wormy) Verde nuclear generation station..

"As for me...I shall finish the Game"!


-- Shakey (in_a_bunker@forty.feet), September 30, 2000.

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