SALT LAKE CITY — Rocky Mountain Power filed a request today with the Public Service Commission of Utah to implement its long-term plan to modernize how the company produces, transports and delivers electricity to power Utah’s future.
After six years of significant improvements to Utah’s energy backbone without raising prices, the new proposal aligns prices with the actual cost of providing service to customers and allows Utah to continue to have some of the most affordable, reliable and increasingly renewable power in the country. The request includes the following projects in ratemaking:
In 2017, Rocky Mountain Power promised customers that base rates would not increase through the end of 2020. Over that time, Utah customers saw an overall retail rate decrease of nearly 4 percent. The company delivered on this pledge while also preparing for the future with important renewable energy and grid upgrades that nearly doubles the amount of renewable energy capacity available to serve customers. With no fuel costs, these renewable energy projects are expected to save customers several hundred million dollars over the lives of these assets.
Rocky Mountain Power recognizes that any rate increase at this time in particular can be challenging for customers in light of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. To ease the impact, the company proposes to continue passing on deferred tax savings to customers through a rate credit, and to create a phase-in of the requested price increase over three years.
Beginning in 2021, the new rates would result in a modest increase of 2.6 percent for customers overall. On average, residential customers would see an increase of about $3.08 each month. Smaller increases of slightly less than $1 per month would occur in 2022 and 2023. Even with the proposed rate increase, overall average rates will be lower in 2021 than they were in 2016 and only slightly higher by the end of the phase-in.
“In these difficult times, Rocky Mountain Power is prepared to help our customers by supplying them with affordable, safe, reliable and increasingly clean electricity,” said Gary Hoogeveen, president and CEO of Rocky Mountain Power. “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 Utah Commission will examine Rocky Mountain Power’s requests and will determine whether the schedule should be accepted as filed, modified, or rejected. If accepted as filed, the rate change would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021. The Commission has the authority to set final rates that may be lower or higher than the company’s request, depending on the outcome of its examination.