New TEP surcharge in July - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

New TEP surcharge in July

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Starting in July, Tucson Electric Power bills will contain a new surcharge.

For the average customer it could be as little as $.41 a month. For others, especially high users, it could be a few dollars a month.

The final figure probably won't be known until May.

The new surcharge is needed TEP spokesman Joe Barrios says because "it's going to cover some of the revenues that are lost when a customer reduces their bills either through energy efficiency programs or renewable energy programs."

In other words, TEP customers have been doing such a good job of saving energy, the power company needs extra money to pay its fixed costs.

It's called the Lost Fixed Energy Recovery surcharge and was approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission last year.

TEP provides service to 406,000 customers in Southern Arizona.

It's thought the "modest increase" as TEP calls it, may give 'customers the opportunity to adapt."

It's hoped the customers will further explore cost saving options.

"Energy efficient programs offer an opportunity to save," says Barrios. "perhaps there's something they weren't taking advantage before that they may do now."

The rate will be adjusted annually but must be approved by the ACC.

As more people convert to solar and others lower the thermostat, revenues dropped.

"I don't think I'm willing to pay more to save more, " says TEP customer Nate Burks. "That just doesn't make sense."

But a former utility worker, David Davenport, is more accepting.

"They've got to maintain their infrastructure," he says. "If they're revenues drop what else are they going to do."

According to TEP, the revenues raised can only be used to off set certain non-fuel costs, like energy efficiency.