Jan. 15, 2024
Although Rate Increase was Reduced, Wyoming Residents will Pay an Extra 54 Million in Utilities for 2024
By Jordan Freytag
The following is a summary of Wyofile.com’s article on the 2024 utility rate increase proposed by Rocky Mountain Power. Read the full article here:
The Wyoming Public Service Commission (WPSC) reached a verdict on Rocky Mountain Power’s (RMP) proposed utility rate increase. While it isn’t the nearly 30% hike initially proposed, the now 8.3% hike will significantly impact Wyoming residents. “People are going to feel it,” says Sam Shumway, Wyoming AARP Director. 144,000 RMP customers will collectively pay an additional 54 million dollars to keep the lights on.
Over the past six months, hearings have been held and residents have expressed their anxiety about the unprecedented nearly 30% rate hike. Many are relieved about the verdict of 8.3%, some believe that it may be the shape of things to come. Shumway also stated that “ . . . there’s probably going to be more rate hikes.”
In that time, the WPSC was able to cut RMP’s proposed 140 million dollar increase to 80 by late November. According to RMP, 90% of the rate hike was due to rising coal costs, but the WPSC believed the model they were using was overly speculative. Therefore, the commission approved a lower forecasted cost of coal and natural gas, using a counter analysis.
Some believe that RMP isn’t utilizing other renewable energy options offset conventional energy sources. Sierra Club’s Rob Joyce said, “Instead of investigating into clean energy . . . RMP continues to heavily invest into gas and coal.”
Even though the rate hike was reduced to 8.3%, it has led to a general uncertainty with the utility and WPSC. Many are wondering what this means for the future of utilities in Wyoming. One of the best ways to insulate yourself from these unpredictable rate hikes is to go solar. Both solar and energy efficiency measures reduce the amount of electricity you purchase and thereby reduce your exposure to future rate increases.