Utilities’ Cost-Shifting Hoax: Deceptive Legislation Creates Problem ALready

PROTECTED BY AR LAWTrue Intent of Law is to Deny Arkansans Choice and toStrengthen Utility Companies’ Monopoly
Big utility companies, electric cooperatives, and their legislative sponsors who are shamelessly trying to pass legislation under the premise of protecting Arkansas consumers from “cost-shifting” should prove it.
House Bill 1370 advocates have not acknowledged that Arkansas law already allows utility companies to increase electric bills if cost-shifting can be proven – and utility companies have repeatedly failed to do so.
On four separate occasions the Arkansas Public Service Commission reviewed cost-shifting claims and found none. The rural electric cooperatives took the cost-shift argument to the Arkansas Court of Appeals and the Arkansas Supreme Court and lost in both Courts.
“If utilities, cooperatives and their House Bill 1370 sponsors are so concerned about a made-up cost-shift hoax, they should go prove it,” said Lauren Waldrip, executive director for the Arkansas Advanced Energy Association.  “They don’t need this legislation because there is already existing law setup to solve this problem if it is ever proven.”
“Big utility companies and their surrogates must think Arkansans are dumb if they are offering legislation under the premise of protecting the same people they have been gouging for years,” said Waldrip. “House Bill 1370 is nothing more than deliberately deceptive pro-utility, pro-monopoly legislation.’
“The cost-shift hoax is a decoy, nothing more than an underhanded tactic repeatedly used by utility companies to strengthen their monopoly by driving out choice,” said Waldrip.
“Utility companies and their monopoly have had their hands around the throats of Arkansans for too long. Our electricity bills are exploding because they are squeezing more profits out of us. House Bill 1370 has nothing to do about protecting consumers and everything to do about protecting their monopoly by denying Arkansans choice and competition,” said Waldrip.
The Majority of HB 1370 has nothing to do with the Cost-Shift Hoax
“You haven’t heard one word from the utility companies, their surrogates, and their bill’s sponsors about all the other bullets loaded into their bill that have nothing to do with the cost-shift hoax but are intended to kill the solar industry, end choice for Arkansans, and strengthen their unfair monopoly,” said Waldrip. “That means even higher electricity bills for all Arkansans.”
HB 1370 includes provisions that create a monthly grid charge, discourages net-metering job creation, changes definitions of terms to benefit utility companies, reduces maximum sizes for residential and non-residential solar installations, adds new location restrictions for solar deployment, and eliminates the possibility for larger facilities allowed under current law. 
“Arkansans don’t need shameless legislation designed to protect utility company monopolies and their profits,” said Waldrip. “They deserve more choices and energy competition that will reduce electricity bills and provide better service and energy reliability.”