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´╗┐Arizona Corporation Commission revisiting issue of electric competition

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A decade after Arizona scrapped rules to open the state's retail electric market to competition, state regulators are mulling a new move to allow consumers to choose their power providers.

The move would allow ratepayers to choose who supplies their power though it would still be delivered by local utilities and could offer consumers lower rates and more services.

But critics say any rate benefit would be outweighed by other risks.

The move to competition is being driven by a political shift at the elected Arizona Corporation Commission, businesses that want to save money by choosing power providers, and power retailers eager to tap into Arizona's electric markets.

But results in the 17 states that have some form of retail electric competition have been mixed particularly for residential ratepayers and groups such as AARP say the move would do little to lower electric bills and could open consumers up to Sustanon 250 3rd Week abusive market practices.

Mindful of such concerns, the Corporation Commission will move cautiously before formally adopting any competitive plan, Chairman Bob Stump said.

"Our constituents who pay the bills are first and foremost on our minds," said Stump, adding that all five commissioners have gone on the record with similar concerns.

But the commission is preparing to move quickly to decide whether to proceed aiming to vote as soon as September on whether to start formulating new competitive rules.

Dj vu

Arizona passed its first rules to make retail power markets competitive in 1996, separating generation from the transmission and distribution of electric power so that competitors could sell power in competition with incumbent utilities like Tucson Electric Power Co.

The state essentially abandoned the rules after California's botched attempt at a competitive power market made headlines in 2000 and 2001, and a state appellate court found Arizona's competition rules fatally flawed.

Now, with an all Republican commission in place after two Democratic members lost re election bids last year, the utility panel believes it's time for a new look at retail electric competition.

Stump acknowledged that "´╗┐Anadrol 50" the new makeup of the commission had much to do with restarting the competition discussion.

"What has brought this up is the openmindedness of the five commissioners to consider this issue anew, based on new facts, at a new point in Arizona history in which competition may or may not be appropriate for Arizona ratepayers," he said.

A chief "Achat Anabolisant Belgique" proponent "Oxandrolone Powder India" of electric competition said the time has come to put the issue back on the table.

Stan Barnes, president of Arizonans for Electric Choice and Competition (AECC), said customers of all classes stand to benefit from price competition and new services competitors can offer.

Founded in 1998, the AECC is supported largely by major power users including Asarco LLC, Walmart, Intel, Honeywell and Freeport McMoRan Copper Gold.

"We've all been brought up to believe that you just plug in and pay the bill," said Barnes, a Republican former legislator. "It's about more than just the price. We live in an entirely new world of empowerment of individuals, and that is where the action is."But opponents, including the seniors group AARP and Tucson's biggest utility, Primobolan En Zweten Tucson Electric Power Co., say retail competition is too risky, particularly for residential ratepayers.

"In our view, it has not been successful for residential consumers," said Janee Briesemeister, senior legislative representative for AARP.

"Not only are they not getting the savings they were promised, but there are numerous ways customers have suffered market abuses. We don't think any state, including Arizona, should move forward."

Briesemeister said residential customers in competitive states have been subjected to a confusing array of options, contracts "4-chlorodehydromethyltestosterone Ireland" and marketing tactics including door to door sales.

TEP which could be forced to spin off its power plants depending on how the state's competitive rules are written opposes the move to retail competition, though it will comply with any commission ruling, a spokesman said.

"Competition could expose our customers to higher costs, and there are some risks involved," TEP spokesman Joe Barrios said.

Barrios acknowledged that some customers could get lower rates, but TEP worries about more costs being shifted to residential ratepayers if competitive power retailers cherry pick many large Primobolan Oral Side Effects commercial customers. As the incumbent utility, TEP would likely be required to provide service as a "provider of last resort."

"The question is, where does that leave residential customers?" Barrios said. "Their rates would go up, because they would have to cover more of our fixed costs."