RMP Defends Rate Increase
A local Rocky Mountain Power representative fielded questions from Casper City Council Thursday. The City of Casper has formally intervened in the last rate increase request of about 17 percent from the utility company.
Leslie Blythe, Customer Community Manager, for Rocky Mountain Power says her time with Council was a chance to address issues.
"The city of Casper has intervened a number of times in the past and we've always worked with them on this. At the end of the day, the Public Service Commission rules on the rate case and so this is their opportunity to give input to the Public Service Commission."
Council members questioned the impact on small business and frequent and longer lasting outages.
Blythe says Rocky Mountain Powers is making a substantial investments in Casper's electrical infrastructure spending about 75 million since 2008.
"We also have some additional funding that we have now allocated to address reliability in the city of Casper and we do have areas where we have better reliability than other areas and we have those pinpointed and we will be dedicating additional funding to those areas in this coming year."
Blythe points out that Casper pays some of the lowest prices in the state and in the country. She says the lower prices reflect our access to hydro facilities, efficient coal fired plants, and the benefit of all costs being split over six states. But she reminds, " we are in a growth cycle now. We are hopefully building transmission and were building generation facilities and so we are in a growth cycle right now as well."
The proposed rate increase of an around 17 percent would mean about a 15 dollar a month increase for the average household.