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TUCSON, Ariz. -- State regulators have approved a rate increase for Tucson Electric Power Co. that will boost the average residential bill by up to $4 per month beginning on July 1.

The Arizona Corporation Commission voted 4-1 on Tuesday to approve an amended version of a settlement reached among TEP, commission staff and other parties.

Amendments offered by commissioners removed from the rate settlement TEP's latest plan to meet a state energy-efficiency mandate.

That included a new mechanism to allow the utility to recover its costs for energy-conservation programs in later rates.

The commission instead decided to keep only those energy-conservation programs previously approved while suspending consideration of nine new programs until new hearings on the cost-recovery issue.

TEP's rates have been frozen since the last rate settlement in December 2008.

Associated Press,

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