UTAH DROUGHT

Power rates could increase in May, says Rocky Mountain Power

Mar 17, 2022, 3:23 PM | Updated: 4:07 pm
Power rates could increase come May, Rocky Mountain Power says....
Power rates could go up by 1.6%. (Steve Griffin/Deseret News)
(Steve Griffin/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Rocky Mountain Power is asking Utah’s Public Service Commission to approve increased rates for customers. The new power rates will start May 1 on an interim basis and Rocky Mountain Power wants them to last until June 2023.

The power company adjusts its prices annually depending on how much power costs as it fluctuates. Spokesperson David Eskelsen said power is more expensive than last year.

According to Eskelsen, Rocky Mountain’s fluctuating prices are, generally, out of the company’s control. Droughts and heatwaves, largely, drive power prices.

This has caused hydroelectric power to become less available and the overall cost of wholesale purchases to be higher.

“Hydroelectric power is dependent on the availability of water,” Eskelsen said. “[It] is, historically, a very low-cost resource. When that is lower in output, other power resources have to be drawn upon to fill in that gap.”

Rocky Mountain Power has a collection of small hydroelectric facilities along the Wasatch Front, on Bear River, and a sister facility in the Pacific Northwest. Drought also affects this facility.

Rocky Mountain Power waits for the state

Rocky Mountain Power must get approval from the state of Utah before adjusting its prices. 

“Public utilities, like Rocky Mountain Power are regulated by the state in which we operate. In Utah, that’s the Public Service Commission of Utah,” Eskelsen said. “They review our cost of providing service and make sure that our prices are fair and reasonable.”

Rocky Mountain Power also buys and sells power to and from other utilities every day. Eskelsen said that sales are credited to the benefit of customers.

“Any money that we make by selling power to other utilities is credited against the wholesale power that we buy,” he said. “Sales are credited to customers and purchases are, of course, a cost to customers.”

According to Eskelsen, costs fluctuate up and down and have decreased in the past. Costs vary year to year.

The average residential customer can expect to see their bill increase by 1.6%, about $1.40 Eskelsen said. The new rates are subject to change, as they still need approval from the state Public Service Commission.

Martha Harris contributed to this article.

Related stories

Today’s Top Stories

Utah Drought

Sprinkler watering lawn pictured. Drought water conservation made improvements this year....
Chris Jacobs

Water levels indicate that Utah’s water conservation efforts are working

The Division of Water Resources reported that drought conditions are lower than last year and water conservation has maintained consistent water levels.
3 days ago
Sprinkler is shown. Salt Lake water usage was down, saving almost 3 billion gallons...
Kate Davis

Salt Lake saved almost 3 billion gallons of water this season

Lower Salt Lake water usage led the county to save billions of gallons of water in the face of Utah's ongoing drought.
12 days ago
Dry lakebed...
Rachel Ramirez, CNN

The upstream water used to keep Lake Powell afloat is running out

The dam is a key source of energy in the region, generating power for as many as 5.8 million homes and businesses in seven states, and is at high risk of being forced offline should the lake's level drop below 3,490 feet above sea level.
14 days ago
powell plane crash...
Lindsay Aerts

A pipeline from Lake Powell to Washington County is taking shape

Utah is moving forward with the Lake Powell Pipeline, but opponents say it's too costly and that Utah doesn't have the right to divert the water.
18 days ago
utah heat high elevation people on sidewalk in salt lake city...
Becky Bruce

It’s not just hot – this September heat wave is impacting high altitude locations as well

Traveling to high altitude does not afford much relief from the heat wave in northern Utah this week, with blame falling on the high-pressure system above.
27 days ago
The Great Salt Lake has reached a historic low level of water....
Alejandro Lucero

Utah youth to hold funeral style demonstration for Great Salt Lake

A funeral style demonstration will be held by Utah Youth Environmental Solutions Network on Sept. 3. It will begin at 11 a.m.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Power rates could increase in May, says Rocky Mountain Power