Paying to keep the lights on can put a strain on many a household budget. But some Utahns might be surprised to learn that their electricity rates are among the lowest in the West.
Last week, Rocky Mountain Power announced it would be seeking a $232.4 million general rate hike, which would increase the typical household power bill by about $10 per month.
The company said the reasons for the rate hike request are the ever-increasing costs to produce electricity and heavy investments in equipment to serve customers. The funding is also needed to maintain and upgrade existing facilities as well as increase capacity to meet increasing customer demand.
That would seem all well and good, but the announcement was met with skepticism by some ratepayers who thought their rates were already high enough. The Utah Public Service Commission will have 240 days from the date of submission to review the request before deciding how much of an increase will be implemented sometime this fall.
While some Utahns may believe they pay a pretty penny to power their homes, data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration would suggest otherwise when compared to neighboring states and the rest of the country.
Among eight states that make up the Mountain Region, Utah paid the second lowest residential electricity rates at 8.51 cents per kilowatt-hour as of October 2010. Only Idaho had a lower residential rate at 8.02 cents per kilowatt-hour — also the lowest in the nation — while Nevada paid the highest regional residential rates at 12.18 cents per kilowatt-hour.