Wyoming’s largest investor-owned electric utility is asking to raise its rates in 2016. Rocky Mountain Power submitted a request to the Public Service Commission this week for a 4.5 percent overall increase. The company estimates that would translate to roughly an extra $5 charge on residential customers’ monthly bills. Bryce Freeman, administrator of the Wyoming Office of Consumer Advocate, says the request doesn’t come as much of a surprise.
“Nearly annually over about the last ten years or so—there’s been a few years where they haven’t been in—but they’ve been filing rate requests just about every year,” he said.
The cost of an average residential Rocky Mountain Power bill has risen 27 percent since 2010. All the same, Wyoming’s electricity rates remain below the national average, for both residential and commercial customers. Rocky Mountain Power spokeswoman Margaret Oler says the money is needed for system reliability and environmental compliance.
“This rate case does include some of the final installments on some large projects that are just being completed,” she said.
Among those are a transmission line in Utah, environmental controls on the Jim Bridger power plant and system upgrades around Casper.