Rocky Mountain Power Rate Hike Approved

(KCPW News) Starting this fall, Utahns will see a 4.7 percent increase in their power bills. The state’s Public Service Commission is allowing Rocky Mountain Power to raise its rates by $117 million, meaning an increase of about $3.50 a month for residential customers. Commission spokeswoman Julie Orchard says the two sides have been meeting since the beginning of the year, trying to reach a compromise on an appropriate rate increase.

“No one likes to be able to have their power rates increased, however, the costs of doing business for the company are increasing continually to produce electric power,” she says. “The increasing investment in the transmission facilities and the other increases in Rocky Mountain’s operating costs make it so that it just costs more than it did.”

The utility initially asked the commission for a rate increase of $232 million.

Rocky Mountain Power spokesman Dave Eskelsen says the company is happy with the outcome, but will likely have to ask the commission for another rate hike in February 2012.

“For the last several years, we have been adding new power plants to our system, building transmission, and also expanding our local neighborhood distribution facilities,” says Eskelsen. “All of that requires an investment in the equipment to provide that service.”

Eskelsen says the new rate increase will take effect September 21st.