Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Utah electricity rates to increase in the fall
Residents will see the average electricity rates rise 5.64 percent beginning in October and an additional 2.89 percent in the fall of next year. That translates into an annual bill of $875.08 for the average household in Utah when the rate increases are in place by Sept. 2013.
In the agreement with the Public Service Commission of Utah, the state’s largest electricity utility will receive a $100 million rate increase this year and a $54 million rate hike in 2013. In exchange, the company would not make another rate increase request until at least 2014.
If final approval is given by the commission, the average residential household would see its monthly bill increase by about $4.55 in 2012 and $2.48 next year.
Rocky Mountain Power originally asked for a $172 million rate hike or 10.5 percent, but the director of the Utah Office of Consumer Services — the state’s watchdog agency — said the agreement would save ratepayers millions by avoiding another rate increase request for the next two years.
Rocky Mountain Power spokesman Dave Eskelsen said the revenue generated by the rate hikes would be used to make infrastructure improvements and meet ongoing operational costs.
Utah ranks among the states with the lowest utility rates in the nation.
A previous Deseret News report indicated that among eight states that make up the Mountain Region, Utah paid the second lowest residential electricity rates at 8.51 cents per kilowatt-hour as of October 2010. Only Idaho had a lower residential rate at 8.02 cents per kilowatt-hour — the lowest in the nation — while Nevada paid the highest regional residential rates at 12.18 cents per kilowatt-hour. Deseret News