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N4T Investigators: Rising utility rates

TUCSON –  Around eight dollars a month, that’s how much more the average Tucson Electric Power customer would be paying under a proposed rate increase.

TEP officials say the rate increase is needed to pay for a smarter, greener grid.

“Essentially our rates are outdated and they don’t take into account more than a billion dollars the company has spent to improve electric service for customers,” said Joseph Barrios with TEP.

The nearly 800 page rate increase plan was submitted to the Arizona Corporation Commission in April.

News 4 Tucson Investigator Nick VinZant combed through the proposal to find out just how much more you could be paying.

Basic plan customers: $7.61 per month increase

Time-of-use customer: $7.97 – 8.66 per month increase

Small business: $20.66 – 24.69 per month increase

Medium business: $439 – 460 per month increase

Large business: $715 – 760 per month increase.

Along with the rate increase TEP is also looking at changing the fees customers face when paying their bill.

TEP is proposing a $2 increase to the monthly customer service charge and a transmission charge/credit adjuster that would reflect the cost of transmitting power to retail customers.

The utility has also proposed getting rid of credit and debit card fees.

“We know that any application that we submit and any change in rates could have an impact on our customers and we don’t take those lightly. So a couple of things that we would advise them to do is first take a look at their electric usage, we have rebates and other programs through our energy efficiency offerings that they could take advantage of to lower their electric bill,” said Barrios.

If approved the rate changes would start May of 2020.

TEP’s last rate chance was in 2017.

Nick VinZant

Nick VinZant

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