Tucson, Ariz. – New electric rates for UniSource Energy Services customers will take effect Feb. 1 to help cover rising costs and support ongoing investments in safe, reliable service.
The average monthly bills of typical residential customers on UniSource’s Basic pricing plan are expected to increase by $13.68 under the new rates, approved Jan. 17 by the Arizona Corporation Commission. Bill impacts will vary with usage and are likely to be higher during hot weather, when customers typically use more energy, and lower in cooler months. UniSource can help customers mitigate the impact through energy efficiency programs, rebates and advice available on uesaz.com.
While UniSource has passed along energy cost changes without markup, its base rates have remained unchanged since August 2016 and are based on 2014 costs. The new rates reflect more than $330 million the company has invested since then to maintain reliable service. These investments include new poles, transformers, power lines and other equipment, as well as security enhancements and technology upgrades.
The new rates will help UniSource serve the increasing energy needs of growing communities in Mohave and Santa Cruz counties. Customers’ peak energy demand has increased by 16 percent since 2014, driven by hotter weather and the addition of more than 8,000 customers.
“After more than seven and a half years without a base rate increase, we need new rates to support our ongoing investments in safe, reliable service,” said Susan Gray, UniSource’s President and CEO.
UniSource has reduced the need for rate increases by scrutinizing expenses and investing in upgrades that reduce ongoing costs, including systems that allow more efficient dispatch of power generation resources. Such efforts helped the company limit the average annual growth of its operations and maintenance costs to less than the rate of inflation between 2015 and 2021.
The new rates will allow UniSource an opportunity to pass along some costs of new generating resources more gradually in the future. This new System Reliability Benefit mechanism will support investments that help preserve affordable, reliable service for customers. For more information and other details about the new rates, visit uesaz.com/new-rates.
UniSource provides electric service to more than 101,000 customers in Mohave and Santa Cruz Counties. It also provides natural gas service to more than 167,000 customers in Northern and Southern Arizona. For more information, visit uesaz.com. UniSource and its parent company, UNS Energy, are subsidiaries of Fortis, Inc. (TSX/NYSE: FTS), which owns utilities that serve more than 3 million customers across Canada and in the United States and the Caribbean. To learn more, visit fortisinc.com.
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