Power rates headed up in June

Regulators approved Pacific Power's request for a hike that will take effect June 1.

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Pacific Power rates will warm up in June.

State regulators have approved a request from the Portland-based electric provider's for a rate increase. Under terms of the agreement Pacific Power will not be able to file another general rate case before Jan. 1, 2013.

Starting June 1, residential electric customers will see an average monthly bill increase of about $1.24 a month under the settlement approved by the state Utilities and Transportation Commission today.

That rate applies to the average residential customer using about 1,000 kilowatt hours a month, for an average bill of $77.65. The basic monthly service charge of $6, which is paid by all customers regardless of the amount of electricity used, will remain the same.

The settlement allows Pacific Power to raise an additional $4.5 million - about 1.5 percent in total revenues. That figure is a fraction of the $12.9 million the utility originally requested in its initial filing last July.

Pacific Power's current overall rate of return is 7.74 percent.

The company, a division of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co.'s PacifiCorp, provides electric service to about 130,000 customers in five Eastern Washington counties, including Columbia, Garfield and Walla Walla.

In response to the rate request last year, the Utilities and Transportation Commission, the agency that regulates Washington's private, investor-owned electric companies, received 90 public comments. Eighty-five of them were opposed; five were undecided.

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