PHOENIX – Officials with the Arizona Attorney Office announced on Feb. 22 that a deal has been reached with APS that will see over 200,000 of its residential customers reimbursed.
According to the statement, the settlement was reached following an investigation into APS’ Customer Education and Outreach Program, which the Arizona Corporation Commission directed APS to develop after APS’ new rate plans and rate increase was approved in August 2017.
The Customer Education and Outreach Program, according to the statement, was supposed to educate APS’ residential customers about the new rate plans, and as a part of the program, APS developed an online plan comparison tool that was intended to help customers evaluate and compare the various options.
“The Arizona Attorney General’s Office (AGO) began investigating the implementation of the CEOP in December 2019 after learning of an error that affected the plan comparison tool from February 2019 to November 2019,” read a portion of the statement.
Officials with the Attorney General’s Office say their investigation also discovered that some APS customers may have been affected by a data error, which impacted letters recommending a plan called Saver Choice as the most economical plan for some customers in late 2017
“In particular, the 2017 Letters included rate recommendations and estimated cost savings that were calculated using an incorrect rate schedule for the Saver Choice plan. Some customers who received the 2017 Letters chose to move to the Saver Choice plan and then did not receive an updated plan recommendation during the rate migration process in 2018,” read a portion of the statement.
According to the statement, APS has agreed to provide $24 million for certain residential costumers. Of the $24 million, $20.7 million will be distributed to up to 210,000 customers who APS estimates were not on their most economical plan as of the March 2020 billing cycle, and would have saved $120 or more over the 12 months prior.
“This group of consumers will receive a per capita payment of at least $98,” read a portion of the statement.
The remaining $3.3 million, according to officials, will be distributed to the approsimately 17,500 customers who mave have been affected by the data error in teh 2017 letters.
“This group of consumers will receive a varying restitution payment based on the extent of the likely effect on the consumer resulting from the data error,” read a portion of the statement.
The restitutions, officials say, will be provided in the form of checks or possibly bill payments, and will be made within four months of a court’s approval of the settlement. The 24 million in restitution is separate to previously compensations APS gave to customers impacted by its rate tool errors.