As of April 1, 2005, you can expect your power bill to go up by about $4.75 a month. The Public Service Commission (PSC) is experimenting on how electricity rates are set for Utah consumers. Utah Power is seeking permission to raise its rates 11 million. The full story about this is published in the Salt Lake Tribune.
The main difference in this new procedure on trial, is that the rates will be based entirely on projected costs that the utility expects to incur in the 12 months after the new rates go into effect. Utah Power believes using a so-called "future test year" to determine rates, instead of basing them on historical costs, the traditional method used by the PSC, will be more fair to the company as well as its customers. They say that these projected costs will eliminate the problem of "regulatory lag;" which is when a utility spends money on behalf of its customers but must wait for the PSC to approve those costs.
My question, along with everybody elses', is "Are these projected costs reasonable?" I thought that historical costs were used to determine projections. So what is making the difference here, and why are our electricity bills going up almost $5 a month? That's sixty bucks a year!