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Front Page » September 2, 2008 » Carbon County News » Price residents see larger electric bills
Published 2,055 days ago

Price residents see larger electric bills


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By C.J. MCMANUS
Sun Advocate community editor

As Rocky Mountain Power continues to raise power costs, Price city has been forced to pass those increases down to their citizens via their monthly electric bill.

As of Sept. 1, Price city residential customers will see approximately an 8.9 percent increase in their power bill, according to information provided by city customer service director Bret Cammans.

Price city bills their citizens independently of the power distribution conglomerate.

"While 8.9 percent can seem like a steep number, a Price citizen paying $44.44 a month will see an increase to $49.43 approximately," said Cammans in a phone interview earlier this week."

Cammans reported that the higher monthly rate will also take into consideration the base-fee increase by Rocky Mountain, taking hookup fees from 98 cents to $2.

As well as implementing the increase in cost, the customer relations specialist is changing the rate schedule, to try and better serve the community.

"Our overall goal is to keep the increases gradual so that no one gets hit with a stiff increase all at once," said Cammans. "Because we are expecting Rocky Mountain Power, (RMP) to increase their bills to us by at least five percent in the first quarter of 2009." While some customers will be moved from one payment bracket to another, some brackets will be closed all together and according to Cammans, the city's outlook on power usage is changing along with the nations.

"The new rate plans promote conservative power usage. The days of getting a better rate for more used power are over, said the customer relations director. "The more power people can save the better rate they are going to get."

RMP now charges customers based more on demand than usage, increasing prices when demand is high. As the power supply market moves forward, Cammans stated that it will be the time the electricity is used that is expensive, instead of how much electricity is used.

Beside the increase, the primary objectives of the city's new proposal are:

•To consolidate utility rate plans. Making sure that all of Price's citizens, both commercial and residential, receive a fair and gradual increase. Commercial rates will not be effected at this time as they received their price hike in conjunction with the Rocky Mountain Power's price bumb.

•To finalize the evolution to the inclining rate structure.

•To show revenue increases in alignment with increased costs.

•To give as much consideration as possible to the customer.

•To stay competitive with RMP.

As the city works to move their citizens into a smooth transition concerning the rising cost of power, they are also working to improve their capabilities as a provider.

The city is currently working with RMP to bring a higher volume feed into the city and are also constructing a new substation to further assist local residents.

"These measurements should help with some of the outages we have experienced during the summer," explained Cammans.

The Price city official further noted that overgrown trees are a major problem when it comes to power problems. He cautioned residents who believe they have issues or pending issues with branches to contact the city at the collection's department where they pay their power bill.

"Do not try and fix these situations yourself," said Cammans. Wait for a city employee who knows the proper steps to take in such a situation."

Because the city is moving away from an inclining rate system and moving to a declining plan, these helpful tips will help customers to save money on their electrical bill.

Rocky Mountain's "Cool Cash Incentive Process" detail the advantages of evaporative, or swamp cooling in Utah as the conditions here are ideal for that type of system.

However, either a swamp or central air can mean saving through the Rocky Mountain Power incentive program if the resident receives their power directly from RMP. Information on the incentives is availible at www.rockymountainpower. Again Price city residents receive their power directly from the municipality.

Another way to save a few bucks when it comes to electricity is to get rid of that old refrigerator or freezer that is taking up space in the home.

"Refrigerators built prior to 1990 can use two to three times more power than a high-efficiency one built recently," says the site.

The average refrigerator or freezer uses about 2,280 kilowatt-hours annually, states RMP. By going to a new unit, individuals can save about $150 with just that change alone.

This does not take into consideration the electricity that can be saved by purchasing all new energy efficient appliances when the time comes to replace the old ones. They do cost more on the front end but as energy continues to rise in cost the purchase price difference becomes negligible in a short period of time, according to RMP literature.

Price city does see further increases in the future and warns Price citizens to institute energy saving techniques as soon as possible. Further information on the subject can be found at Rocky Mountain Power's website.

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