- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 18, 2017

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Rocky Mountain Power has announced that it wants to reduce Wyoming electricity rates by more than $16 million and freeze rates until 2020.

The utility submitted its proposal for the rate decreases to the Wyoming Public Service Commission on Monday.

Bills for average residential customers will drop about $15 annually if the plan is approved, Rocky Mountain Power said. The new rates would take effect in June.

Rocky Mountain Power has also pledged to not increase base rates for customers for the next three years.

Lower fuel prices and the sale of renewable energy credits on the open market has helped reduce the utility’s costs, said David Eskelsen, a spokesman for the Salt Lake City-based company.

Rocky Mountain Power also gets excess electricity produced in California, said Paul Murphy, another company spokesman.

“California has a glut of solar, and at some points the state pays us to take their electricity,” Murphy said. “So when we get those lower prices we pass those on to customers.”

Eskelsen said the pledge not to increase base rates is partly a selling point to Wyoming companies that plan budgets years in advance but are suffering from the downturn in oil, gas and coal prices.

The utility’s biggest Wyoming customers are companies involved with the sector, which uses about 74 percent of the electricity provided by Rocky Mountain Power in the state even though the sector represents only 2 percent of its client base.

Rocky Mountain Power serves about 140,000 Wyoming customers, including the Casper, Rock Springs, Rawlins, Laramie, Cody, Worland and Riverton areas.

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