Oct. 9, 2023
RMP seeking to increase Wyoming utility rates by nearly 30%
By Jordan Freytag
This blog is a summary of this Wyoming Public Media article.
In July, Rocky Mountain Power proposed to increase the utility rates for 150,000 Wyomingites. An 8% increase went into effect that month on an interim basis, and another 20%, if approved by the Wyoming Public Service Commission (WPSC), will go into effect on January 1st, 2024.
Why? According to RMP, fossil fuel prices and extreme weather are the key factors. Without sufficient energy generation, they have resorted to purchasing power on the open market. Thus, the reason for the rate increase.
Though some pundits in the state have sought to pin the rate increase on renewable energy, RMP's own statement clarifies that fuel cost - primarily natural gas - was at the root of the cost overrun.
The WPSC held a meeting in Rock Springs in July to discuss the rate increase. Some emotional customers testified that they were unsure of how they were going to afford the increase. A potential $90 extra per month for one customer had them in tears.
As a result, hearing’s have been held across the state so that community members can have their voice heard. Riverton and Laramie held sessions in September while Casper has one scheduled for October 12th.
Creative Energies and other conservation voices have pointed out how an accelerated shift to renewable energy will shield ratepayers from similar increases in the future. Electric rate increases like this one will improve the financial return on home or business energy efficiency and rooftop solar. Federal and state incentives for home and business energy efficiency have never been more generous. If you are concerned about rising rates, please speak up in the public hearings, send comments to the WY PSC, and create your plan to reduce your electricity consumption.