Rocky Mountain Power filed a case with the Public Service Commission (PSC) in February asking for a rate increase once again, and AARP Utah has intervened to help ensure that any increase granted is fair and justified.
See Also: Affordable Utilities Now
The proposed rate increase is 10.5 percent, far less than the 13.7 percent increase requested last year, but still translating to a price hike of $172.3 million. Last year’s proposed increase was eventually reduced to just over four percent in a settlement with the PSC, but as they promised, Rocky Mountain Power filed again this year – and plans to file rate increases every year over the next decade – to keep up with increasing demand, according to the company.
This could potentially translate to rate increases of eight to ten percent each year.
AARP Utah has hired an attorney and an expert witness to review the evidence to be submitted, provide testimony and rebuttal arguments, and negotiate a fair deal for consumers. As before, we will team with the Salt Lake Community Action Partnership (CAP) to represent the interests of residential customers. We will also work closely with the Utah Office of Consumer Services to discuss issues how rates should be structured to minimize the impact on low-income and low-use ratepayers.
AARP Utah will set up a website with information about the case and how to submit consumer comments as the case progresses this summer. To follow AARP’s work on utilities, go to aarp.org/utilities. A decision on the proposed rate hike must be made by mid-October.
Karen Gilmore, Vice President of Customer Services, provided AARP Utah with this statement for our members:
At Rocky Mountain Power, our focus for the past 100 years has always been on providing safe and reliable electric service at a reasonable price. Our Utah customers and the communities we serve have benefitted by having among the lowest electricity prices in the nation.
We’re also committed to working with the members of AARP in Utah, answering their questions, providing reliable information and keeping lines of communication open.
While we are dedicated to providing electricity service at the lowest reasonable cost, you should know that prices will unavoidably increase over the next decade. We recognize this may be a source of frustration to you, but it’s important to understand why prices are going up. The main reasons are costs related to growing electricity use in Utah and environmental regulations. Our price requests are thoroughly reviewed by the Utah Public Service Commission to ensure any increases are justified and for the benefit of Utah customers.
We understand no one likes price increases and that it can be especially challenging for customers living on a fixed income. That’s why we work hard to keep all controllable costs down. We also offer proven wattsmart programs that can help you save money by making simple changes in how you use electricity. Additionally, we provide around-the-clock customer service and have programs to make bill payments easier.
For more information, call anytime, toll free at 1-888-221-7070 or visit our website at www.rockymountainpower.net.
AARP will continue to work around the country to help ensure that utility rates stay fair and affordable. For questions or comments, please e-mail Laura Polacheck at firstname.lastname@example.org.