11/28/2012 12:37:00 PM Letter: APS still charging
for defunct service
When was the last time you read your APS bill? About a year ago, APS replaced the old dial meters with new "smart" digital meters that automatically report your electrical usage to APS via a wireless network. Your monthly electrical usage is then calculated and a bill is produced automatically, thus eliminating the need to have your meter read by an APS employee.
So why are we still paying to have our meters manually read by an APS employee? Line eight of your electric bill still indicates a charge for "Meter Reading." This cost is six cents a day, or $1.80 for a 30-day period. When considered individually this does not seem like much. But consider that APS has over one million customers. The extra revenue is over $1.8 million a month or $21 million a year that APS is now receiving by continuing to charge their customers for something that was once done manually and is now done automatically.
APS is also realizing a huge cost saving through the elimination of the meter readers - a savings that is not passed along to their customers. Meter readers' costs included their wages, the cost of their vehicles, insurance and tools.
The Arizona Corporation Commission will not address this issue, but they will have an APS customer advocate contact you. The advocate will explain that the meter- reading charge is to cover the cost of the wireless infrastructure, but what about the saving generated from the loss of meter readers? How many unemployed meter readers are now adding to the economic problems of Arizona?
Apparently, our only recourse is to somehow prevent every APS rate increase for the next 10 years, as well as electing a new Corporation Commission.