Public Hearing Scheduled for Rocky Mountain Power’s Proposed Rate Hike

Public Hearing Scheduled for Rocky Mountain Power’s Proposed Rate Hike

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ROCK SPRINGS — Rocky Mountain Power (RMP) is seeking authorization from the Wyoming Public Service Commission to increase its Wyoming retail electric utility rates by approximately 21.6 percent.

RMP serves approximately 150,000 customers in Wyoming, and this proposed rate increase would add $16.42 onto the average residential customer’s monthly bill, according to the company. The new rates will vary among the different customer classes and schedules, and will generate an additional $140.2 million per year for the company.

If the Wyoming Public Service Commission grants authorization, rate changes will go into effect on January 1, 2024.

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There will be a public comment hearing on this rate increase on Monday, July 17, at the Rock Springs City Council Chambers located at 212 D Street from 5:30-7 p.m. The hearing can also be attended virtually.

According to written testimony by Joelle R. Steward, RMP’s senior vice president of Regulation and Customer/Community Solutions, approximately $135.4 million of the increase, or 97 percent, is related to resetting the new base for the Energy Cost Adjustment Mechanism (ECAM) for net power costs (NPC).

“Since the Company’s last general rate case (“2020 Rate Case”) net power costs have been climbing annually at unprecedented levels,” Steward said in his testimony. He added that the company has been facing “increasing NPC driven by increases in regional market prices and fuel costs as well as new state and federal environmental compliance environmental requirements.”

Additionally, RMP’s application states that the rate increases are also being proposed to recover the cost of new capital investments and associated costs.

“New utility investments have associated fuel costs, financing costs, and operation and maintenance expenses, taxes and depreciation, all of which must be recovered in rates,” the application states.

RMP expects to place approximately $6.7 billion of new capital projects into service between July 1, 2022 through December 31, 2024, the documents explain.

“This includes $2.7 billion on a total-Company basis ($371.5 million Wyoming-allocated) for the Gateway South and Gateway West Segment D.1 transmission lines and the Rock Creek I Wind Project,” the documents state. “If the increased levels of new capital investment needed to serve customer loads are not included in retail rates when the plants become operational and are serving customer needs, the result will be under-earning that cannot be overcome by Rocky Mountain Power’s efficiency measures.”

Monday, July 17, marks the Public Service Commission’s initial public comment hearing for community members to weigh in on Rocky Mountain Power’s rate hike – the largest proposed rate increase that customers have seen in over a decade that would increase rates by 20.3%, raising average costs for residential customers by about $16.42 per month to start on January 1, 2024.

Residents can voice their opinions regarding this proposal at the public comment hearing Monday, July 17, at the Rock Springs City Council Chambers at 212 D Street from 5:30-7 p.m. This will be the first public comment hearing with the next one taking place in the fall in Cheyenne.