Legislation sponsored by U.S. Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) that would give Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) customers more access to information on the rates the company charges customers was approved by the Senate last week .
The legislation, an amendment to the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016, requires WAPA to set up a searchable online database detailing their budget, costs and the anatomy of their rates. The amendment was developed by McCain and Flake in response to complaints last fall from several major WAPA customers, who alleged that the company was raising its rates to compensate for a spike in overhead costs.
“While WAPA's purported mission is to provide affordable power to all of its customers, the agency has seen its overhead expenses go through the roof in recent years and has unfairly passed on these unnecessary costs to customers throughout rural Arizona in the form of high monthly energy bills,” McCain said. “Our amendment would increase oversight and transparency of this troubled agency by providing customers with information about WAPA's activities through a new searchable online database. Arizonans deserve to know how their tax dollars are being spent, and I’ll continue to urge our colleagues in the House to take up this legislation so we can provide our citizens the transparency they need to rein-in WAPA's unnecessary and excessive spending.”
The bill was ent to U.S. House of Representatives for further consideration.