APS rate hike approved

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Arizona utility regulators have approved a rate increase for the state's largest electric company that will boost the average homeowner's bill by about $6 a month starting Saturday.

Tuesday's 4-1 vote by the Arizona Corporation Commission comes months after Arizona Public Service reached a deal with solar and consumer advocates over its planned increases. The deal allowed smaller rate increases and cuts to what APS pays rooftop solar customers than the company originally proposed.

The deal allows a 4.5 percent residential rate increase, below the 8 percent the utility proposed last year. An administrative law judge largely agreed with the proposal and the commission also has now signed off.

Commissioner Bob Burns opposed the measure, saying APS doesn't need the increase and hasn't been open about political spending that backed commissioners in recent elections. He's suing the company to try to force it to reveal its political spending.

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