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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Attorney General Mark Brnovich secures $24M deal with APS for consumer restitution

PHOENIX — Attorney General Mark Brnovich introduced Monday that his office has secured an settlement with Arizona Public Service Company (APS), that can produce $24 million for about 225,000 APS prospects.

The settlement is aimed to assist these prospects who had been “not on their most economical rate plan for electric utility service.”

“Throughout my time as Attorney General, I have consistently said businesses large and small need to make sure consumers have adequate information about products and services,” stated Attorney General Mark Brnovich in an announcement. “Today’s historic and consequential settlement provides $24 million to more than two hundred thousand Arizonans who may have relied on inadequate information from APS.”

After the AG’s office realized of errors within the “Customer Education and Outreach Program” created by APS which included a web-based plan comparability instrument, aimed to assist prospects consider and examine the assorted plan choices, they started to analyze. Their investigation found that the error affected the plan comparability instrument from February 2019 to November 2019.

RELATED: Arizona Public Service CEO apologizes for rate instrument issues

The investigation additionally revealed {that a} information error in late 2017 affected extra APS prospects. The error-affected letters that had been despatched out recommending the “Saver Choice” plan as probably the most economical plan for prospects and had been calculated utilizing an inaccurate rate schedule for the “Saver Choice” plan. In doing so, some prospects moved to the plan and didn’t obtain an up to date plan advice in 2018.

After negotiations with the AG’s office, APS agreed to pay $24 million for some residential prospects.

See the breakdown of Consumer Restitution under:

  • $20.7 million to as much as 210,000 shoppers who APS estimates weren’t on their most economical plan as of the March 2020 billing cycle and would have saved $120 or extra over the earlier 12 months. This group of shoppers will obtain a per capita fee of no less than $98.
  • Up to $3.3 million to roughly 17,500 shoppers who might have been affected by the info error within the 2017 Letters. This group of shoppers will obtain a various restitution fee based mostly on the extent of the seemingly impact on the consumer ensuing from the info error.
  • Restitution will probably be offered within the type of checks (or probably invoice credit) and will probably be made inside 4 months of the courtroom’s approval of the consent settlement.
  • APS beforehand compensated shoppers impacted by its rate instrument errors. The restitution introduced at this time is separate and along with these refunds.

Additionally, APS shall pay $200,000 to cover the state’s value of the investigation. Furthermore, APS shall pay $550,000 to advertise the Attorney General Office’s consumer and group outreach consciousness and prevention packages. Residential prospects with questions on their rate plans ought to go to aps.com or name APS straight at 602-371-7171 or 800-253-9405.Civil Litigation Division Chief Counsel Joseph Sciarrotta, Jr., Senior Litigation Counsel Rebecca Salisbury, Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Bonham, and Consumer Litigation Unit Chief Matthew du Mée dealt with this historic and consequential case.

Read the total copy of the grievance here.

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