Arizona Corporation Commission begins hearing APS customer complaints

PHOENIX -- Angry Arizona Public Service customers sounded off at an Arizona Corporation Commission meeting on Tuesday over a rate hike that recently went into effect.

APS said the increase would be about 4.5 percent, but customers say they are paying a whole lot more than that amount. Some people stated their electric bills have doubled and they want the commission to take a closer look at APS' actions.

"I thought something was wrong with it," said April Ricci. "It's basically almost double what it was last year."

In 2017, APS issued a rate increase.

"I was using both less on and off-peak power, but my bills seemed to be higher," said Stacey Champion, who started a petition back in December after her rates spiked.

"People having to make the choice between buying groceries or paying their power bill, seniors having to make the choice between buying needed medication or buying their power bill," said Champion.

"We will let the process play out. We are fully involved in the process and want to make sure our customers understand that we have implemented our rate increase just as we expected. Some customers are going to pay more, some will stay the same and some will pay less," explained APS spokesperson Suzanne Trevino.

Some, like Ricci, are hoping their complaints are taken seriously by the commission.

"If we're forced to use something, the sky can't be the limit."

The hearing could take a few days. The commission could come back and say APS has to re-do the rate structure or they could say everything is fine. If that's the case, those against the hike say they'll appeal.