EPCOR files new rate case

On June 15, 2020, EPCOR Water Arizona filed an application with the Arizona Corporation Commission (AzCC) for new water rates, to be effective no later than Aug. 15, 2021.

In Jan. 25, 2019, the Commission could not reach a resolution on the previous case, wherein EPCOR filed for statewide consolidation of the 11 EPCOR districts. As a result of the 2-2 deadlocked vote, the Commission implemented interim rates based on pre-2019 rates (plus a volumetric surcharge). At that time, the Commission also required EPCOR to file a new case no later than May 1, 2020 (a 45-day extension to June 15 was granted due to COVID-19) that would include “geographically adjacent or regional basis rate consolidation options, including cost of service studies for each geographically adjacent or regional district.”

The current case filing includes one standalone and four consolidation scenarios. All four consolidation options (three regional and one statewide) would result in substantial decreases to Anthem rates (as well as a refund of the difference from interim rates), whereas the standalone option would result in a considerable increase. These scenarios, and the full impact to Anthem ratepayers, can be found in more detail in the Aug. 26 Open Session Board Packet.

Next steps
At its June public meeting, the ACC Board of Directors named Board Vice President Bob McKenzie and Director of Communications & Pubic Affairs Kristi Northcutt as interveners in the case. The Board also reinstated the Utilities Panel, a committee comprised of Anthem residents who serve in an advisory role to the interveners and legal counsel.

In its 2020 budget, the ACC Board authorized staff to retain legal counsel for the case, if necessary. At its August meeting, the Board authorized the CEO to execute a contract for legal counsel. On Sept. 9, water attorney Clyde Halstead (Carpenter, Hazlewood, Bolen & Delgado) filed a notice with the AzCC to represent Anthem in the case.

The ACC staff has requested additional funding in the 2021 budget, since the case will cross into the next fiscal year. The final draft budget was presented to the Board at the Sept. 26 open session, and the Board is expected to vote on the budget at its Oct. 28 open meeting.

Submit a public comment to the Commission
To file a comment about the case, and the proposed scenarios/rates:

  1. Visit the Arizona Corporation Commission website.
  2. In the menu in the middle of the page, select “Cases and Open Meetings.”
  3. Select “Make a Public Comment in a Docket.”
  4. After your personal information in the fields at the top; in the fields below, enter “EPCOR Water Arizona Inc.” for Company Name. The eDocket number is WS-01303A-20-0177.
  5. While you are free to choose your position, the Anthem Community Council recommends that you select “For” as your position (“For” indicates that you are For Consolidation, which would reduce Anthem rates).
  6. Type the reasons why you feel the way that you do. If you are "For," your reasons that Anthem should be consolidated might include to narrow the gap of rates between districts, to lower the extremely high rates Anthem has been paying while other districts pay less for the same water, state how the high rates impact your household, etc.
  7. Click “Submit.” You should receive an email confirmation of your submission.
With questions, or for more information about your water rates or this rate application, contact EPCOR via phone or email or visit their website.