ON RATE INCREASES:
COVID-19 is not the only factor when it comes to utility debt. Unfair rate structures are another reason residential ratepayers are struggling to keep up with their bills.
Low-income households and households conserving or using less energy get hurt the most by our unfair rate structures at CPS Energy and SAWS.
CPS Energy claims it is among the most affordable energy companies in the country, however this is only accurate for the business community. CPS comes in second in the nation for cheap rates for the business class, all the while burdening residential ratepayers by having them subsidize the energy usage of the business community and of the highest users.
The legacy of prioritizing and incentivizing usage as a business model needs to end.
The city must declare that no longer business rates be lower than those of residential ratepayers. Instead, the moment calls for bold leadership in making sure people get enough water and energy for their health and life without being committed to generational utility debt.
Additionally, CPS & SAWS have made bad decisions on planning our future energy and water security that are not beneficial to the community. By expanding production without the need for the surplus, like in the case of Vista Ridge and the Spruce Coal Plants and increasing debt, our utilities have essentially passed on those debts to ordinary ratepayers through increased fixed charges.
This is how our utilities choose to treat our community. Our utilities should serve the wellbeing of residents and not of the corporations.
Council has the authority to set policy to protect residential ratepayers from price gouging from CPS & SAWS.