In November, you will have the opportunity to vote in the mid-term elections for two open seats on the Arizona Corporations Commission (ACC). One of the jobs assigned to the ACC by Arizona’s constitution is to regulate the rates of utility public service corporations, like Trico.
While these races may not be top-of-mind for most Arizonans, they are vitally important to ensuring affordable rates, dependable service, and sustainable energy supply. I want to encourage all Members to take time to research this year’s candidates, understand the issues, and vote.
As a cooperative, our Members elect a local Board of Directors to govern the affairs of Trico. However, it is the ACC, and not the cooperative, that has the final authority over issues related to the rates Trico charges. In some cases, this can include decisions on the type of power generation that can be built, the programs we can offer, and Trico’s energy prices.
Trico is large for a cooperative, but we are much smaller than Arizona’s investor-owned utilities. There is, of course, a cost to complying with the rules and regulations established by the ACC, and with a smaller staff this can be a heavy burden. We are appreciative that the ACC has often recognized that our size, connection to our Members, and locally elected Board makes us different, and provided us with a certain amount of flexibility and latitude.
We are strong advocates for local control, and we encourage you to support candidates who appreciate and acknowledge the unique benefits of the cooperative business model, and that support practical, flexible solutions for the diverse communities that we serve.
Our industry is changing quickly, and we work hard to balance reliability, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness. An example is Trico’s active investment in renewable generation resources that can reduce emissions and produce savings. We have a goal to reduce our carbon emissions by 50% by 2032, and a plan to do so in a way that ensures reliability and affordability for our Members. That plan involves a balanced approach incorporating several types of generation resources, including needed dispatchable generation, to ensure the transition to renewables is efficient and timely, and also safe and reliable.
We take pride in our commitment to serve our Members, and the fact that our Members vote to elect our Board. Cooperatives across the country know that the democratic process works best when people do their research, understand the issues, and make their voice heard by voting. Please make a plan to vote in November, and as always thank you for being a Member of Trico.
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