A review of the financial state of Arizona Public Services (APS) says that the public utility earned more in 2018 than initially reported.
A pertially redacted audit by the Arizona Corporate Commission (ACC) showed that APS made earnings of more that $6.7 million in 2018.
But a more complete review of the full audit by KPNX and The ASU First Amendment Clinic indicates APS earned much more.
According to the local NBC affiliate, APS earned $77 million over base earnings in 2018, with 80 percent of that coming from residential customers.
Rate adjustments were included in the base rates in 2017 bills. The following year, those adjustments were added back into the bills of customers as separate line items.
APS has a Return on Equity (ROE) of 10.45 percent for that time period. The utility is authorized to earn up to 10 percent.
As a result, customers of the utility paid APS $28.4 million more than it was legally allowed to collect from a 2017 rate increase.
The ACC responded to these findings by stating that they were taken from a “draft” report and that numbers shifted after the initial draft was created.
The information was culled from material collected by Overland Consulting, which was paid a quarter of a million dollars by the ACC.
Consumer advocate Abhay Padgaonkar told KPNX “The Overland Audit Report contradicted virtually every position Staff had asserted ... Staff ostensibly sanitized the Audit Report's language, cherry picked the audit findings to include in its summary, and buried clear evidence, including significant APS over earning.”
ACC commissioners will need to review the new findings and, if APS exceeded their 10 percent ROE mandate, discuss ways to return funds back to the public.