The Sublette County Journal
Volume 4, Number 40 - 6/1/00
brought to you online by Pinedale Online
Businesses See Savings With Power Decision
Last week's decision by Wyoming's Public Service Commission concerning Pacific Power's requested rate increase resulted in approximately $125,000 of savings for business owners. In its written decision, the PSC states that it decided not to allow rate increases for several different business-related power schedules including General Service, Large General Service, and Agricultural pumping.
Pinedale's George Funk, who personally intervened in the rate case and single-handedly raised the rate parity issue, estimates that the PSC's decision will save businesses in the western half of the state approximately $125,000 in power bills. Mr. Funk showed the PSC that business power rates in western Wyoming were 60% higher than those in the eastern part of the state.
Early in its decision document, the PSC praises Mr. Funk for raising the parity issue. It asked Pacific Power to return to the commission with plans to reach parity between the eastern and western halves of Wyoming within three, five and seven years the next time the company asks for a rate increase.
According to Mr. Funk, that could come as early as August. However, he is concerned that the power company will simply not ask for a rate increase, and thus avoid developing and implementing plans for reaching parity in electric rate fees between the two sides of the state. "We're going to be waiting for PacifiCorp to do something," said Mr. Funk. If possible, he's going to ask the PSC to issue the power company a deadline to submit its three rate parity plans.
Overall, however, Mr. Funk is very pleased with the PSC decision to actively pursue the parity issue. He notes that when he first raised the parity issue last December, Pacific Power said it would take 17-20 years to reach parity. However, recently the company has said it could reach parity within 5 years, and possibly within 3 years. "They came a long way and I'm glad they did," says Mr. Funk.
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