Arizona Corporation Commission considering deregulating power companies

July 25, 2013
Christopher Sign

PHOENIX – An estimated 50,000 Arizonans received a call Wednesday morning to join in on a fight against deregulating power companies in Arizona.

The AARP of Arizona held a massive town hall style conference call alerting its members that the Arizona Corporation Commission is gathering information on the issue.

"This is critical. We've got a lot of retirees in Arizona and on a fixed income and any increases to their expenses is a threat to their safety and their pocketbook," said AARP Associate State Director Steve Jennings. "We've seen it with other states. Deregulation will cause rates to increase."

Jennings said roughly 10,000 members actually took part in the call and said the organization's involvement is to protect its members.

"This (deregulation) would be beneficial for big companies and entities like Arizona State University and Walmart and big box stores, but for residents, who don't use as much power, it's not a good move," said Jennings.

Those in favor of deregulation contend it would provide customers with more options allowing them to shop for electricity, which is good for consumers.

One group, Arizonans for Electric Choice and Competition, outlined its push for deregulation, calling it a good move.

A spokesperson for the Arizona Corporation Commission said commissioners were unable to comment because it's a pending matter while commissioners gather information on the issue.

It's expected the issue will continue to heat up as these groups target consumers pushing their views for support.

The Corporation Commission, according to a spokesperson, is expected to vote on the issue as early as late September.

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