- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 1, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - The Latest on a filing by Arizona Public Service Co. to increase rate, add new demand charge and cut solar payments (all times local):

12:25 p.m.

A proposal from Arizona’s largest electric utility to implement demand charges for most customers and change how solar customers are paid for excess power is being slammed by a group representing solar companies.

Former Arizona Corporation Commissioner Kris Mayes calls the proposal both anti-consumer and anti-solar. Mayes represents the Energy Freedom Coalition of America, which will weigh in on the rate change request filed with the commission Wednesday by Arizona Public Service Co.

APS wants to boost electricity rates by about 8 percent and move most customers to a billing plan that charges them more if their power use surges during peak hours. They also want an end to “net metering,” where rooftop solar homeowners are paid full retail rates for power they send back to the grid. APS want to pay wholesale prices for the power.

Mayes says demand charges will prevent consumers from using their appliances during peak hours without being hit with hundreds of dollars in new charges. And she says the changes to solar rates will stymie competition and decimate the solar industry.

8:20 a.m.

Arizona’s largest electric utility wants to increase residential electricity rates by about 8 percent and move most customers to a billing plan that charges them more if their power use surges during peak hours.

Arizona Public Service Co. also wants to end solar power buyback plans it says don’t fairly cover the costs of providing power to homes with solar panels starting in mid-2017. Existing rooftop solar customers will keep their current rates for 20 years after they are connected.

Wednesday’s filing with the Arizona Corporation Commission kicks off a yearlong review that APS hopes ends with the new rates in effect by July 1, 2017. The company that serves 1.2 million residential and commercial customers also hopes to raise commercial rates by 1 percent to just over 6 percent.

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