Docket No. E-00000W-13-0135
August 16, 2013
Dear Arizona Corporation Commission members:
The Pima County Interfaith Council, which represents more than 30 institutions and 40,000 local residents, would like to express our concern regarding the issues of retail electrical competition and the potential extreme consequences for Arizona consumers.
Our preliminary review of the retail competition system provides very disturbing data that suggests rate payers, and in particular, low income rate payers will be harmed substantially by increased costs associated with retail competition. In our review of how other states have fared, all indications point to a volatile market that would be harmful for our overall community.
Further, we are concerned that retail competition will particularly harm the poor. This proposed change could lead to the elimination of programs such as bill payment assistance and meaningful utility discounts since there will be little incentive for any utility to put itself at a competitive disadvantage. We are also concerned other companies will fail to engage at the grass-roots level in issues such as energy efficient financing programs that matter to the community. There are many more important issues in our community than just a promise of a lower electric bill. There needs to be a sense of community and caring for those less fortunate or on a fixed income. We feel there is a moral responsibility for the stewardship of the gift of Creation.
We hope that you will consider the bigger picture: the impact that retail competition will have across all classes of customers, not just the few larger commercial users. We hope that you will weigh not just potential positives but also disconcerting negatives that will inevitably come with any significant change in retail electrical competition.
Peter Woods, PCIC Strategy Team, St. Cyril’s Catholic
Alice Weekly,PCIC Green Team Chair, St. Francis UMC
Hank Kryzik, PCIC Green Team, Our Mother of Sorrows
Our decision last month to weigh-in on the energy deregulation decision had important consequences. After meeting last Monday in Phoenix with Arizona Corporation Commission member Susan Bitter Smith, the ACC announced on Thursday that they would not pursue deregulation. Larry Lucero, TEP’s Senior Director of Government and External Affairs, told us on Friday that PCIC’s docketed letter to the ACC (attached) and visit to Phoenix had a significant impact. Thanks to Patsy Stewart, Art Evans, Hank Kryzik and the VIP leaders who joined us for the meeting with Commissioner Bitter Smith. She happened to be a member of an active VIP congregation.
View/Download letter HERE.
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