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Power Company Wants Rate-Hike

Wyoming’s largest utility has proposed a $97.9 million rate increase for its customers. Rocky Mountain Power is Wyoming’s largest utility, serving 134,600 customers in Buffalo, Casper, Cody, Douglas, Evanston, Green River, Kemmerer, Lander, Laramie, Rawlins, Riverton, Rock Springs, and Thermopolis, among other communities.

According to documents filed with the Public Service Commission, the rate hike would amount to about $15 per month more for residential customers.

“That’s a big burden to pass onto consumers, especially since the company just got a $35.5 million increase a few months ago,” said Tim Summers, AARP Wyoming Director. “Given the economy, this isn’t the time to be increasing utility rates again.”

AARP Wyoming opposed the last increase and, along with large industrial consumers and the Office of Consumer Advocate, succeeded in lowering it to $35.5 million from a proposed $71 million in March, Summers said.

In November, Rocky Mountain Power filed a new rate increase proposal with the Public Service Commission. It translates into an overall increase of 17 percent, a 21.5 percent increase for residential service consumers, a 19.5 percent increase for small business consumers and a 9.4 percent increase for large business consumers, according to documents filed with the PSC.

According to a statement on the Rocky Mountain Power Web site, the rate increase is driven by the need for “system improvements and rising costs to serve customers.”

The Wyoming PSC will hold hearings this spring on the proposed increase. For more information, call the Wyoming Public Service Commission at 307-777-7427.