by Warren Woodward
Sedona, Arizona ~ April 27, 2019
          Yesterday I received notice that the Arizona Supreme Court denied my Petition for Review of the Arizona Corporation Commission’s (ACC) “smart” meter decision made in the last APS rate case. Among other things, that “smart” meter decision allows APS to charge customers who refuse “smart” meters an extortion fee, and it completely disallows solar and commercial customers to refuse a “smart” meter when in the past they always could.

         My Petition for Review also challenged the inherent discrimination of two other aspects of the APS rate case. One was the so-called “90-day trial period” whereby new APS customers cannot take the regular R-Basic rate for 90 days but instead have to be on a Demand or Time Of Use rate. Another was the so-called “grandfathering” of APS’s R-Basic Large rate, which is no longer available to customers even though some customers are still on it.

         Regarding the 90-day trial period, the Court of Appeals (from which I was appealing to the AZ Supremes) was so dumb that the Court of Appeals actually ruled the 90-day trial was not discriminatory because new customers could choose from among all the available plans. Except they can’t! If new customers could chose from all the rate plans then there wouldn’t be a 90-day trial period. That’s the kind of sheer idiocy the Arizona Supreme Court has endorsed by letting the Court of Appeals’ decision stand.

         Numerous lawyers who specialize in utility law had told me the 90-day period was blatant discrimination, so my argument was not that of some ignorant layman. But I was not surprised the AZ Supremes blew me off. They are an extremely lazy lot who only hear 3.5% of the civil cases brought before them. Long time readers may recall when they blew off my case against ACC commissioner Bob Burns. While a commissioner, Burns was a registered lobbyist for companies regulated by ACC. That’s completely illegal (and I had caught Burns and his pals telling about 5 different stories in their lame attempt to create an excuse). But the AZ Supremes didn’t care that Burns broke the law. They refused to hear my case then too.