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Local response to Rocky Mountain Power rate hike possibility

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - Higher energy prices could be on the way for Rocky Mountain Power customers.

The company requested an average 10.5% price increase for Idaho customers, including the more than 89,000 customers in eastern Idaho. Local News 8 wanted to know more about how this potential increase would affect Rocky Mountain Power customers.

"That's a big jump," commented Issac Hansen, a Rocky Mountain Power customer. "It seems a little bit unreasonable."

"I was expecting that because everything is going up," says Jay Bungard, owner of Geraldine's Bakery Shoppe and Deli.

Rocky Mountain Power says there are several factors for the price increase, like a coal mine fire at Lila Canyon in Utah in 2022, and severe weather, like a 2023 bomb cyclone that increased the demand for natural gas.

The war in Ukraine is another factor affecting supply and demand that's not so close to home.

Rocky Mountain Power Spokesperson David Eskelsen explains it's "a global market phenomenon that affects a variety of energy, energy infrastructure, because, you know, both coal and oil are our global commodities. And so the war in Ukraine prompted a lot of sales into Europe from markets all over the U.S. And we saw that in coal and natural gas."

Finding out the war in Ukraine is affecting Idaho came as a surprise to people Local News 8 spoke to.

"It's really tragic of what's been happening in Ukraine. But with the information of what's actually been going on, that is news to me," commented Marcuse Rodriguez at Lyle Amado Barbershop in Ammon.

Jay at Geraldine's Bakery says doing business is doing well, but it seems to be one thing after another these days.

"I've been in the restaurant business for 45 years, and this is the worst I've ever seen it, as far as staffing and employing and plus...the cost of goods are affecting everything that you do."

"Obviously no one likes prices going up," says Mia Garcia owner of Lyle Amado Barbershop "It's understood as well...I think in a way, everything is going up." 

"I'm just going to go with the flow. Continue to just try to provide the best service for my clients," concluded Rodriguez.

Rocky Mountain Power says it is working hard to maintain its position as a low-cost energy provider. The utility says the public is allowed to comment on the proposed rate increase at the Idaho Public Utilities Commission website.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho Falls

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Stephanie Lucas


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