Residential customers of Arizona’s Tucson Electric Power will pay an average of $11 more per month on their electric bill beginning next month.
The utility says the new rates recover the cost of grid improvements, technology and security upgrades, new wind and solar power resources, and other investments made since 2018, as well as higher energy and operating costs. The grid improvements cost almost $1.8 billion and include new poles, transformers, power lines and renewable resources, according to the company.
The rate increase will take effect on Sept. 1. It was approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission, a five-member elected panel that sets the rates charged by public service providers.
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“We know you count on safe, reliable electric service to power your life,” a spokesperson said in a video released by TEP. “That’s why Tucson Electric Power has invested in a smarter, stronger and cleaner energy grid that can keep pace with our modern lifestyle.”
The video goes on to say that the rates pre-rise are based on costs from 2018.
The news could have been worse for customers. Tucson.com reports that a commission hearing judge recommended a boost of 14%, nearly $18 a month, by shifting more costs from business to home customers.
What to do about rising energy costs?
One alternative for customers who are worried about rising rates is rooftop solar, which can be especially rewarding in a sunny state such as Arizona. CNET has an explainer on how solar panels can help you fight rising electricity prices by reducing your reliance on the electrical grid.
Solar panels do have upfront costs to be aware of, but can save you money in the long run, as well as protect against future inflation or rate increases. To find out more, check out CNET’s guides to the best solar companies, installers and solar panels.