Coalition Formed to Protect Consumers and Small Businesses - Oppose Electricity Deregulation

July 30, 2013
Arizona Power Consumers Coalition

ARIZONA – Nearly fifteen years after the disaster of out of control prices and brown outs in California brought deregulation efforts in Arizona to a screeching halt, the Arizona Corporation Commission is now once again considering the issue, taking comments and considering discussion in an upcoming open meeting. In response to the latest threat facing our state, a coalition of individuals, community leaders, companies, and organizations have come together to form the Arizona Power Consumers Coalition.

"So-called 'deregulation' of electric service – which really isn't deregulation at all – was wisely rejected by the Arizona Corporation Commission years ago; it has dramatically failed elsewhere; and it's an especially bad idea for Arizona," said Jay Heiler, Chairman of the Arizona Power Consumers Coalition.

The Arizona Power Consumers Coalition (AZPCC) is dedicated to supporting competitive, reliable power options that offer choice and reduce the risks of power shortages, blackouts, and out of control pricing. The coalition believes that Arizona should not support deregulation efforts, which may increase power bills for average consumers and small business owners. The coalition supporters also believe that it is not fair for out of state providers to cherry-pick the biggest purchasers of electricity and leave everyone else to pay higher prices.

The coalition announced the launch of their new website and a series of coalition co-chairs. Individual, organization, and business supporters will be announced in the upcoming weeks. Coalition members include:

Coalition Chairman

  • Jay Heiler


  • County Supervisor Sylvia Allen
  • Roc Arnett, President, East Valley Partnership
  • Lori Daniels, Former State Senator
  • Lisa James
  • Russ Jones, Former State Representative
  • Diane McCarthy, Former Arizona Corporation Commissioner
  • Kim Owens, Dodie Londen Excellence in Public Service Series
  • Senator Steve Pierce
  • County Supervisor David Tenney
  • Phil Townsend, Former Yuma County Republican Party Chairman
  • Lisa Urias

Deregulation has had a disastrous effect in other states. When the post deregulation rate freeze ended in Maryland, rates increased 60%; in Illinois, rates jumped by 55%; and in Pennsylvania, they jumped 53%. In Texas, prices skyrocketed and customer service complaints increased 700%. In California, it was conclusively demonstrated that ENRON and other companies were only manipulating the market to increase costs for power, enabling these energy trading companies to make more money at the expense of the consumer. The interests seeking to resuscitate this dead policy in Arizona have just suffered an unfortunate bit of timing; on July 18, The Wall Street Journal reported that banking giant JP Morgan faces a record fine for manipulation of power "markets" in California and the Midwest. The fine is expected to approach or exceed the $435 million fine imposed on another banking giant for its alleged manipulation of California power prices from 2006 to 2008.

Heiler concluded, "Now is not the time to chase after a half baked deregulation scheme. Arizona's rates are below the national average and current system provides reliable, price stable energy supplies during off peak and high peak times. It is constantly innovating and looking to improve ways to provide choice, reliability and price stability without undercutting the current stability in the market place."

About Jay Heiler – Coalition Chairman

A lawyer, journalist and political analyst, Jay Heiler is a public affairs consultant in Arizona, serving the leadership of a wide variety of both private and public sector clients. He is founder, Chairman and President of Great Hearts Academies, a network of top-performing charter schools located around the Phoenix metro area and known across the country for successful creation of a rigorous liberal arts curriculum joined with a competitive athletics program. He was appointed by Gov. Jan Brewer to the Arizona Board of Regents in 2012, and also serves as chairman of the Arizona Charter Schools Association. In 2013, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce recognized him as the state's Transformational Leader of the Year.

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