Tucson Electric Power customers could soon see small credits on their bills, as the utility looks to refund some $8.3 million in surcharges sooner than planned to help ratepayers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
TEP has asked state regulators to approve its request to quickly return money overcollected through a monthly customer surcharge that funds energy-efficiency programs like rebates for new heating and cooling units. In a filing with the Arizona Corporation Commission, TEP estimated that residential customers with average usage would get bill credits of $4.07 for May and $6.91 for June.
TEP said it overcollected its Demand Side Management Surcharge due to the Corporation Commission’s delay in approving TEP’s 2018 energy-efficiency plan, pushing back the implementation of the approved programs. Normally, that overcollected amount would be returned to ratepayers as credits over a longer period of time, at a later date, TEP said.
“We know many of our customers are struggling through financial challenges during the pandemic, so we want to support them as much as possible,” TEP spokesman Joe Barrios said. TEP’s sister utilities UniSource Energy Services Electric and UniSource Gas have filed to issue credits totaling $2.8 million of federal tax benefits to residential customers.
UniSource Electric, which serves about 96,000 customers in Mohave and Santa Cruz counties, has proposed early refunding of $1.5 million in deferred tax benefits stemming from the 2018 federal corporate income tax cut to its residential ratepayers. Home customers would get bill credits of $3.22 in May and $4.98 in June, based on average power usage. UniSource Gas, which provides natural gas to about 156,000 customers in Northern and Southern Arizona, proposed to rapidly refund $1.3 million in federal tax benefits, with monthly residential bill credits averaging $4.90 in May, $2.22 in June and 41 cents from July through December.
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