Rocky Mountain Power has asked the Public Service Commission of Utah to approve an increase in Utah customer bills as part of its annual adjustment tracking the costs of providing power.

Actual power costs were substantially greater than the amount being collected through customer rates due to the extreme drought and heat wave that hit western North America in June and July 2021.

According to the statement, the change is set to take effect on May 1, for a 14-month period and customers will see a 1.9 percent rise in their rates.

A typical customer who uses 775 kilowatt-hours per month would notice a 1.6 percent (or $1.40) increase in their monthly payment.

The latest request is for $40.2 million, and utility regulators will examine the company’s filing over the next eight months before holding a hearing in December.

Rocky Mountain Power has predicted what power production costs will be in the foreseeable future. This projection of net power costs mostly includes the expenses of fuel and power acquired from other companies on the wholesale market. These expenses are accounted for in a separate Energy Balancing Account. When actual expenses are known each year, they are compared to the prediction. If costs are lower than expected, a credit balance develops in consumers’ favor, which is eventually refunded to them as a bill credit. If costs exceed expectations, a fee is added to consumer bills to recoup what the company has already spent on customer service.

An Energy Balancing Account case can result in a net increase or decrease for consumers, depending on events that are generally outside the utility’s reasonable control, as well as other economic variables that utility regulators may evaluate.

“Rocky Mountain Power is committed to bringing the best value to our customers for their hard-earned dollars,” said Joelle Steward, senior vice president of Regulation for Rocky Mountain Power. “As a provider of one of the most essential public services, we’re focused on controlling the costs we can control. As the cost of fuel and power purchased on the wholesale market changes, this annual adjustment continues to ensure Rocky Mountain Power customers always pay a fair and affordable price for the energy they need.”

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