Utility rates in Wyoming are expected to climb over 20% by January. 

Rocky Mountain Power (RMP), the largest utility company in the state, has applied for two rate increases in the last year with the Wyoming Public Service Commission. It’s the largest rate increase the company has applied for in over a decade. 

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The first rate hike application on Mach 1, 2023 asked the Commission “to increase its retail electric service rates by approximately $140.2 million per year or 21.6 percent and to revise the energy cost adjustment mechanism.”

The second and more recent rate hike application was on April 17, 2023, and asks for “Rocky Mountain Power to increase current rates by $50.3 million (7.6 percent) to recover deferred net power costs.” 

The most recent rate hike is scheduled to begin this month, and customers will see their bill increase by approximately $3.52. The other 21.6 percent increase will take effect in January. 

Average electricity bills are expected to increase to over $16 a month for average households. 

In a press release, RMP said “extreme weather events and drought conditions” in the west continue to have “significant impacts on wholesale power prices.”

Any rate increases have to be justified by the company. The Energy Cost Adjustment Mechanism is a formula designed to negotiate the difference between forecasted energy costs and actual costs for utility companies. Cost-sharing has been implemented in the past, with RMP paying 20% of cost overruns and Wyoming residents footing the other 80%. RMP seeks to eliminate cost-sharing and charge Wyoming customers 100% of any cost overruns. 

“Rocky Mountain Power provides approximately 95% of the power it supplies to customers from power plants it owns…and the remaining 5% from other utilities. These prices fluctuate in the competitive wholesale market. Additionally, any revenues the company makes from power sales to wholesale buyers are credited back to customers as part of the annual cost adjustment,” the release said. 

A public comment hearing was held in Rock Springs on July 17m 2023. Public comment for the rate adjustment can be made through the Wyoming Public Service Commission, visit their website here.  

Rocky Mountain Power services Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming. RMP’s parent company, PacifiCorp, is owned by Berkshire Hathaway. 

Brutal Laramie Spring Break Blizzards

Spring break usually means vacations, trips to beaches or fun cities, or maybe a little time off work. In March 2019, though, folks in Southwest Wyoming weren’t catching any flights out of town during spring break. We experienced a “Bomb Cyclone Blizzard” on March 13-14, 2019. A year later, the world shut down due to Covid, and Wyoming was further shut in by another historic blizzard the week of March 13, 2020.