On July 2, 2007, Tucson Electric Power Company ("TEP" or "Company") filed an application ("Application") with the Arizona Corporation Commission ("ACC" or "Commission") requesting rate relief under one of three different Company-proposed methodologies: a Market Methodology; which would result in a 21.9 percent increase over current rates, a Cost-of-Service Methodology; that would increase current rates by 23.0 percent, and a Hybrid Methodology; which would result in an increase of 14.9 percent over TEP's current rates. In addition to an increase in existing rates, TEP is seeking Commission approval of a purchased power and fuel adjustment clause ("PPFAC") which will allow the Company to flow forward-looking increases and decreases in the Company's purchased power and fuel costs (with no profit markup) to customers. TEP is also seeking approval of a surcharge to recover $14.2 million (under the Market Methodology) to $47.0 million (under the Cost-of-Service or Hybrid Methodologies) in certain software acquisition/modification and coal contract buy-down costs that were related to the implementation of retail electric competition in Arizona (the "Implementation Cost Regulatory Asset" or "ICRA"). TEP is further seeking a demand-side management cost recovery mechanism ("DSM Cost Recovery Mechanism") surcharge that will allow the Company to recover costs associated with DSM programs. The Company is also proposing that the Commission adopt significant rate design changes that involve time-of-use ("TOU") and Lifeline rates for TEP's customers. The Company is seeking a return on common equity that ranges from 10.75 percent to 11.75 percent based on the capital structure that is adopted by the ACC.
TEP currently provides electric power to over 394,000 customers in Tucson and southern Arizona. The Company is presently operating under a moratorium (established in a 1999 settlement agreement with RUCO, members of Arizonans for Electric Choice and Competition, and the Arizona Community Action Association and approved in ACC Decision No. 62103, dated November 30, 1999) which freezes the Company's rates through December 2008. TEP is requesting that new rates go into effect no later than January 1, 2009.
On August 31, 2007, TEP's Application was found to be sufficient by ACC Staff1.
On September 13, 2007 the Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") assigned to hear TEP's case issued a procedural order scheduling a procedural conference for 10:00 a.m. on Monday, October 1, 2007 at the ACC's Tucson offices at 400 W. Congress Street. During the procedural conference, attorneys representing the various parties to the case, including RUCO, offered their recommendations on a procedural schedule for the case (i.e. the dates for the evidentiary hearing and for the filing of written testimony) to the ALJ assigned to the case.
On October 5, 2007, the ALJ assigned to the case issued a procedural order that scheduled the evidentiary hearing in the matter for 10:00 a.m. on Monday, May 12, 2008 in Room 222 at 400 West Congress, Tucson, Arizona. On Thursday, February 21, 2008 the ALJ responded to a request from ACC Staff and issued a new procedural order that extends the filing deadlines for written testimony. The scheduled date for TEP's evidentiary hearing has not been changed.
Because RUCO was one of the parties to TEP's recent proceeding that sought to amend Decision No. 62103 (Docket No. E-01933A-05-0650), there was no need for RUCO to file a request for intervenor status in the current rate case proceeding. During the discovery phase of the proceeding, RUCO's analysts and outside consultants will gather information, conduct an audit of the Company, and perform a cost of capital analysis to determine an appropriate rate of return on TEP's investment in utility plant which is used to provide service to the Company's ratepayers.
RUCO, ACC Staff and other intervenors to the case filed direct testimony on issues other than rate design on Friday, February 29, 2008.
Direct testimony on rate design was filed before noon on Friday, March 14, 2008. TEP filed rebuttal testimony as scheduled on Tuesday, April 1, 2008. This will be followed by surrebuttal testimony from RUCO, ACC Staff and other intervenors on Thursday, April 24, 2008. TEP will then file a final round of rejoinder testimony on Wednesday, May 7, 2008.
On Thursday, April 10, 2008, the parties to the case met at the ACC's offices in Phoenix to begin discussions on a possible settlement agreement. Meetings continued through April 18, 2008. On Friday, April 18, 2008, The attorney for ACC Staff filed a request for a procedural order that would vacate the April 24, 2008 filing date for surrebuttal testimony from RUCO, ACC Staff, and other interveners.
On Monday, April 21, 2008, the ALJ assigned to the case issued a procedural order vacating the filing dates for surrebuttal and rejoinder testimony. The procedural order also ordered ACC Staff to file a request for a new procedural schedule or file a request for a Procedural Conference to discuss the status of settlement negotiations and the schedule no later than April 28, 2008.
On Wednesday, April 23, 2008, the attorney representing the Company filed a letter with the ACC stating that TEP and ACC Staff had reached an agreement in principle and that TEP and ACC Staff were in the process of preparing a written agreement that will memorialize the terms of the settlement.
On Monday, April 28, 2008, ACC Staff filed a request for a procedural conference. Because of a conflicting schedule, the Attorney for intervenor Mesquite et al., was unable to attend ACC Staff's proposed May 12, 2008 conference date. On Thursday, May 1, 2008, the ALJ assigned to the case issued a procedural order scheduling the requested procedural conference for 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 8, 2008, at the ACC's Tucson offices (Room 222) at 400 W. Congress Street.
On Monday, May 12, 2008, after considering the input provided during the May 8th procedural conference, the ALJ assigned to the case issued her eighth procedural order to govern the settlement agreement phase of the proceeding. The forthcoming settlement will be filed on Thursday, May 29, 2008. On Wednesday, June 11, 2008, parties in support of the proposed settlement will file direct testimony. On Wednesday, July 2, 2008, parties opposing the settlement agreement will file direct testimony. A pre-hearing conference, for the purpose of scheduling witnesses, will be conducted on Thursday, July 3, 2008. Rebuttal testimony will be filed by proponents of the settlement agreement on Tuesday, July 8, 2008. The evidentiary hearing on the settlement agreement will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 9, 2008, at the ACC's Tucson offices at 400 W. Congress in Tucson (Room 222).
In light of the settlement agreement, the subject of the evidentiary hearing will shift away from the litigated positions of the parties to the case and instead focus on the settlement agreement to determine if it is in the public interest.
Also on Monday, May 12, 2008, a public comment meeting was conducted at the Commission's Tucson offices.
On Thursday, May 30, 2008, TEP filed the finalized settlement agreement.
On Wednesday, June 11, 2008, the parties to the proposed settlement filed direct testimony in support of the settlement agreement.
On Tuesday July 1, 2008, RUCO filed a motion to strike the testimony of TEP witness Thomas A. Zlaket.
On Wednesday, July 2, 2008, RUCO filed direct testimony on the proposed settlement agreement.
The evidentiary hearing on the proposed Settlement Agreement, reached by TEP, ACC Staff and other intervenors to the case, began at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 9, 2008 and was concluded at 11:00 am on Wednesday, July 16, 2008. During the hearing RUCO's attorney cross examined witnesses for the signatories to the Settlement Agreement and Southwest Energy Efficiency Project ("SWEEP"). RUCO's expert witness faced approximately three and a half hours of cross examination from attorneys representing the signatories.
Closing legal briefs, arguing the parties' positions on the settlement agreement by the attorney’s representing the parties to the case, were filed on Friday, August 29, 2008.
On Tuesday, October 28, 2008, the ALJ assigned to the case issued a Recommended Opinion and Order(link is external) ("ROO") that recommended adoption of the Settlement Agreement.
At a scheduled Open Meeting held in Tucson on Tuesday, November 24, 2008, the five Commissioners voted on an amended ROO that refunded fixed CTC charges to TEP ratepayers.
On Monday, December 1, 2008, the Commission issued Decision No. 70628(link is external) which established TEP's new rates and charges.
On Tuesday, August 21, 2012, the ALJ assigned to to hear TEP's 2011-2012 Energy Efficiency Implementation Plan issued a Recommended Opinion and Order(link is external) ("EE ROO") that recommends re-opening Dockets No. E-01933A-07-0402, E-01933A-05-0650 and Decision No. 70628 pursuant to A.R.S. §40- 252, in order to consider proposed modifications to TEP's Demand Side Management Surcharge ("DSMS").
In a Procedural Order(link is external) issued by the ALJ assigned to the matter on Tuesday, August 21, 2012, the parties to Dockets No. E-01933A-07-0402 and E-01933A-05-0650 were placed on notice that the Commission may reopen Decision No. 70628 for the sole purpose of re-examining and potentially modifying TEP's DSMS. Parties shall file any comments or objections in the form of Exceptions to the EE ROO in Docket No. E-O1933A-11-0055 by the exception deadline; and may appear to be heard at the Open Meeting at which the EE ROO will be discussed. The deadline for filing exceptions to the EE ROO is Thursday, August 30, 2012.
The EE ROO has been tentatively scheduled to be voted on by the five sitting ACC Commissioners during the Regular Open Meeting to be held at 10:00 a.m. at 1200 W. Washington in Phoenix on Wednesday and Thursday, September 19 and 20, 2012. The commissioners can accept, amend or reject the EE ROO.