Business community reps say APS rate case will help ensure continued economic growth

Taking into consideration testimony it received from the state’s business community, the Arizona Corporation Commission last Thursday approved a rate case from APS that will help ensure the utility can continue to deliver reliable service, even during record-high triple-digit summer temperatures.

The decision was the culmination of proceedings that began in June of 2022 with APS notifying commissioners of its intent to file a rate case. Commissioner Kevin Thompson called it “the toughest and most time-consuming rate case to date.”

Here’s a look at what representatives of the business community had to say during their hearing testimony.

Danny Seiden, president and CEO, Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry: “APS invests approximately $1.5 billion annually into maintenance of the energy grid, which is a commitment to reliability that has been instrumental in keeping the delivery of energy in Arizona robust, reliable, and resilient. Businesses in our state benefit from stability, they benefit from consistency and it’s APS that provides this through these substantial investments.”

Joe Galli, senior adviser for public policy, Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce: “Across the decades, APS has been a tremendous community partner maintaining regular engagement to support existing businesses and the growth of new businesses. A robust utility grid for our member businesses providing consistency and certainty is a necessity. And we’re grateful to APS as they provide this service.” 

Steve Macias, president, Pivot Manufacturing: “APS has and is offering an excellent product at a fair price. Over the last five years, my labor costs have gone up by about 26%, my health insurance has gone up by 30%, but our APS bill has only increased about 12%.” 

Spencer Kamps, vice president of legislative affairs, Central Arizona Home Builders Association: “Arizona is the most energy efficient new housing market in the country and that is due to a partnership with APS.” 

Jimmy Lindblom, vice president of economic development & infrastructure, Willmeng Construction, quoted from a letter he sent APS in 2022: “In unprecedented times, APS has stepped up to the challenges of growth and continues to be the driving force in the economic development for our community. It’s safe to say that most do not realize the profound impact that your team’s leadership, planning, and execution have on our economies each day.” 

Following the Commission’s decision, Chairman Jim O’Connor said, “APS and the 28 parties in the case were thoughtful, vigorous advocates for their respective interests. Our constitutional obligation is to protect the interest of all ratepayers and ensure the grid is reliable. I believe today’s decision fulfills our duties. It means that rates are equitable and fair among customers. Arizona’s population and economy is growing at a rapid pace, and that means utilities must expand their infrastructure and service, as well. While Thursday’s decision was not easy, it is a necessary one to make sure utilities continue to meet the demand of our growing economy and maintain reliable service.”

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