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Rocky Mountain Power Customers Sound Off At IPUC Hearing

For the second night in a row, members of the Idaho Public Utility Commission heard passionate testimony from Rocky Mountain Power customers.

It was standing room only as more than 100 people filled a room at the Fremont County Annex Building in St. Anthony.

The second person to take the podium, of 23 signed up, was still talking 35 minutes into the meeting.

After watching their bills go up about 12 percent so far in 2011, people are very angry and asking why.

A spokesman for Rocky Mountain Power said it’s costing more and more to get energy, and unlike Idaho Falls, it can’t draw from hydropower.

Some who came out Thursday night were also at Wednesday’s meeting in Downey.

In a struggling economy, many said they just can’t keep up with the always-increasing rates.

“We’re all suffering in a nasty recession,” said Rigby resident and customer Bob Ziel. “It’s a double-dip recession and if we have to suffer through, can’t Rocky Mountain Power tighten up more?”

“Why would anybody in their right mind move a business to an area serviced by Rocky Mountain Power?” said Grant resident and customer Bruce Baxter. “Why would anybody build a home there? We’re already paying the highest amount in Idaho.”

Some customers said they don’t think their testimony will make an impact on this particular case, but hopefully it will kick-start a grassroots movement that will help what they called an “injustice” in the long term.

The Public Utilities Commission will make a decision on the increase by the end of this month.

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