Mar 5, 2013 12:50 AM by Sean Mooney
TUCSON - Tucsonan's may soon be paying more for electricity Tucson Electric Power is preparing to raise rates. The Arizona Corporation Commission is currently considering a Settlement Agreement that will increase a families average electric bill by $3.00 a month.
TEP says this will be only the 3rd increase in the last 20 years.
The company also reports that base rates have risen just 8 percent since 1992 while the consumer price index has risen neary 60 percent over that time.
On Monday the Arizona Corporation Commission traveled to Tucson to hear what the public thinks about the rate hike at a meeting held at the Arizona State building downtown.
Miriam Weber says her family is already on tight budgets but at the meeting she spoke of having TEP provide more incentive for energy saving programs that could in turn save her money, "I don't see that the current settlement agreement is really going to be helping customers encouraging them to save and to conserve."
Daniel Patterson produces his own solar power at his house. He says energy concious people will be punished, "We could pay more just for being hooked up to TEP's system so I think basic fairness suggests, and most people would agree, that if you use more power you should pay more."
Arizona Corporation Commission member, Robert "Bob" Burns", says hearing from TEP customers is an important part of the commissions decision making process, "They are the resource generator to rebuild the system. You get a utility company built through investment but somebody has to pay that back and that's the rate payers. So it's very important that we here from them."
TEP had originally asked for an average rate increase of 11-dollars a month.
A ruling from the Arizona Corporation Commission could come as soon as May with the new rates taking effect in July.