Rocky Mountain Power rate hike request reflects transformation to low cost, clean energy

Published on May 12, 2020 by Chris Galford

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Under a new request filed with the Public Service Commission of Utah last week, Rocky Mountain Power would hike its electric rates as part of a long-term plan to modernize and shift to clean energy.

The company said that its decision follows six years of untouched prices, achieved while simultaneously working on upgrading state services. The new rate, it says, would align its prices with the actual cost of service, while helping it to pursue the Rocky Mountain Power’s Energy Vision 2020 renewable energy and transmission initiatives, wind repowering projects, clean air improvements, and installation of advanced metering infrastructure. Funds would also be invested in wildfire mitigation and safety efforts, along with the expansion of the Subscriber Solar program, which allows renewable energy use without solar panels.

For the average residential customer, this could bring an increase of about $3.08 per month. Additional increases of less than $1 per month would follow in 2022 and 2023. Despite the hikes, the company assures that the average rate will be only slightly higher than it was in 2016 when all is said and done.

“In these difficult times, Rocky Mountain Power is prepared to help our customers by supplying them with affordable, safe, reliable and increasingly clean electricity,” Gary Hoogeveen, president and CEO of Rocky Mountain Power, said. “Rocky Mountain Power has the lowest average electricity price of any large electrical utility in the Intermountain West with prices that are nearly 25 percent lower than the national average.”

The utility has pledged to ease the burden of the hike through continued, deferred tax savings provided via a rate credit. Additionally, it intends to phase-in the requested price increase over three years.

All of this is, however, dependent on the Commission’s examination of the request. If accepted as filed, the rate change would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021.