APS customers outraged over new fee on energy bill - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

APS customers outraged over new fee on energy bill

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Lynn and Bill Plesha, of Goodyear Lynn and Bill Plesha, of Goodyear
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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Some APS customers are calling it a slap in the face - an insult to their intelligence and their wallet.

The concern centers around a new fee that will appear on APS customers' energy bills.

The increase comes as more and more Arizonans are doing a better job conserving energy.

Bill and Lynn Plesha, of Goodyear, have been going out of their way to conserve energy.

"We've replaced all of the bulbs in the house with CFL bulbs," said Bill Plesha. "We've put sunscreens on the house to minimize the heat in here."

Lynn Plesha said they also run the pool pumps at night.

The couple showed CBS5 how its efforts have paid off, in the form of lower monthly electric bills.

But the excitement over their savings took a hit when they received a notice from APS informing them of a new charge, starting in March.

The notice states that the new fee is necessary "because more customers are installing renewable energy systems," and "APS is selling less electricity."

"To conserve energy and then turn around and be told you're going to pay more because of that, to me, it defies logic," said Bill Plesha.

"APS is corporate America," said Lynn Plesha. "I don't believe they are not making money, just may not be making as much money as they want to."

APS spokesman Jim McDonald told CBS5 that the new charge will cover the company's fixed costs, which remain steady, even though energy use across the state is going down.

"We have to pay for things like the wires, the polls, the transformers, and the infrastructure needed to provide electric service," said McDonald. "It's just a fact of life."

APS is telling customers they can either pay 38 cents extra a month for the first year and the rate will increase in the future, or pay a fixed flat fee of $2.75 a month.

The Pleshas don't like either option. They said the new fee feels more like a penalty for conserving energy and doing the right thing.

"I don't see them making efforts to make changes to efficiencies on their side," said Bill Plesha. "All they're doing is passing costs on to customers."

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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