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State agency approves Rocky Mountain Power proposed rate increase

On Aug. 11, the Utah Public Service Commission issued an order allowing Rocky Mountain Power to increase the company's revenues by $33.378 million annually.

The company initially requested an increase of 11.3 percent, pointed out the state agency. The order issued last Monday by the commission granted Rocky Mountain Power an increase of 2.4 percent.

The public service commission anticipates that the average Rocky Mountain Power residential customer living in the Castle Valley region and at locations across the Utah will experience an annual increase of approximately $16.

The state agency estimates that the average residential electrical rates will climb from $688 to $704 under the commission's order.

Last December, the company originally filed a revenue rate increase of $161.2 million.

In February, the public service commission issued an order on test period.

As a result of the test period order, the company reduced its revenue rate increase request to $99.8 million in March.

As the case proceeded, the company reduced the rate increase request to $84.5 million in May, explained the public service commission.

At a hearing conducted June 2 through June 5, Rocky Mountain Power reduced the company's request to $74.4 million.

In the Aug. 11 order, the public service commission resolved disputed matters and determined that the increase should only be $33.378 million, pointed out agency officials.

Utah law requires that the public service commission set and implement a revenue requirement 240 days after a utility files for consideration of a rate increase.

Parties participating in the Rocky Mountain Power case included:

•The state's division of public utilities.

•The state's committee of consumer services.

•The Utah Association of Energy Users,.

•The Utah Industrial Energy Consumers.

•The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 57.

•Members of the general public.

"The commission recognizes that any increase in customer rates is difficult, especially in these challenging economic times," indicated Julie Orchard, commission spokesperson. "But Utah law requires the PSC to implement justified rate increases to cover costs of electric energy production."

"The commission encourages customers to take advantage of the many conservation programs provided by Rocky Mountain Power. Conservation efforts will not only lower an individual customer's bill, but can also reduce energy costs system-wide," concluded the state agency representative.

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