Consumer Advocate: utility hike unavoidable

Laramie, WY – The Public Service Commission is considering Rocky Mountain Power's proposed rate increase this week. Consumer Advocate Bryce Freeman says the proposed rate hike before the commission is a good deal lower than the original request. He says with increased power demand in Wyoming, some level of rate increase is probably unavoidable.
"We want to make sure that they're no higher than they have to be for customers to receive service, but on the other hand we also have a vital interest in making sure that the service they're paying for is there when they need it."
Freeman says Rocky Mountain Power originally wanted to bring in an additional 70 million dollars, but they've agreed to less than half that amount. The Public Service Commission is not bound to that agreement, but Freeman says the commission is unlikely to approve rate hikes above the negotiated level. The hearings should wrap up early next week.