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Stable, Affordable Rates

UniSource Energy Services’ electric rates have been remarkably stable, rising at less than the rate of inflation over the last two decades.

UES’ residential electric rates have increased less than 1 percent per year, on average, over the past 20 years.  If you adjust for inflation over that same length of time, our rates have actually fallen by 1 percent per year.

Rate change in last 20 years
The following table shows UES’ historic electric rates for residential and business customers. The figures reflect the average cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) paid by different types of customers.  In both the chart above and the table below, the figures from 1996-2002 reflect rates charged by Citizens Utilities, previous owner and operator of the electric utility system now run by UES.

  Residential Commercial Industrial
1997 9.09 9.25 7.49
1998 8.26 8.92 6.67
1999 9.07 9.49 5.84
2000 8.19 8.38 5.92
2001 8.33 8.54 5.69
2002 9.73 10.47 8.09
2003 10.01 10.06 7.64
2004 10.12 10.15 7.33
2005 10.08 10.09 7.31
2006 10.07 10.04 7.74
2007 10.04 10.14 7.77
2008 11.21 11.20 8.96
2009 10.13 10.47 8.45
2010 9.89 9.79 8.15
2011 9.86 10.03 8.05
2012 9.25 9.29 7.47
2013 9.62 9.64 7.69
2014 10.29 10.21 8.21
2015 10.38 10.52 8.20
2016 10.79 10.78 8.34
2017 9.89 9.76 6.80

Below is the average annual rate increase per class from 1997 to 2017.

Residential Commercial Industrial
0.4% 0.3% -0.5%

Our rates are updated periodically to reflect changing energy prices and other factors reflected in surcharges approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC).  In some years, the ACC also approves rate increases that allow UES to recover the cost of system upgrades and other investments that support safe, reliable service.  In 2016, the ACC approved a request for higher rates and will soon consider proposed changes for customers who install new rooftop solar systems.

Thinking About Solar?

UES’ historic rate stability should be an important consideration for customers who are thinking about buying or leasing a solar power system to their home or business.

To calculate potential energy cost savings from a new photovoltaic (PV) array, sales representatives from solar energy providers usually assume that UES’ electric rates will increase a certain amount each year. If these assumptions are wrong, the estimated savings will not materialize.

Nobody knows for sure what electric service will cost in the future.  But anyone considering a long-term investment in a solar power system should closely examine any assumptions about future increases against UES’ long history of stable electric rates.

The potential energy cost savings associated with rooftop solar arrays also depend on the continued use of electric rates and “net metering” rules that subsidize electric service for users of rooftop solar arrays. UES has proposed changes that would reduce subsidies for new users of private solar arrays.