Taking advantage of the paucity of news during the holiday week, the oldtimers at AARP have issued a press release aimed at the electricity and water providers who want more cash for their current.
With Thanksgiving just days away, AARP Idaho has released the hotly anticipated winners of its first annual Gem State Turkey Award – and the winners are Idaho Power, Rocky Mountain Power and United Water.
The utility companies are cited for their attempts to press through a combined $122 million in rate hikes on Idaho consumers, as many, including the state’s 50+, struggle in a difficult economy.
“We couldn’t find better recipients for the first annual Gem State Turkey Award –asking consumers to keep paying more in this economy is a move worthy of recognition,” said Jim Wordelman, State Director for AARP in Idaho. “These rate hike proposals are the real turkeys this Thanksgiving, and AARP is calling on the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to ensure they don’t fly.”
The Turkey Award “winners”:
–Idaho Power is looking to sock state consumers with $83 million in rate hikes, resulting in the average residential consumer’s bill skyrocketing by nearly 9%, in addition to a $1 a month increase in customer’s service change (bringing in an additional roughly $500,000 to the company). A non-binding settlement agreement between the company and the interveners (none representing residential consumers) in the rate hike case, currently before the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC), still calls for $34 million in rate hikes, hitting the typical residential consumer with a 4.19% higher monthly energy bill.
– Mountain Power has a $32.7 million rate hike before the PUC, which will mean Idaho consumers would see their monthly power bills climb by 7.2%. Their non-binding settlement agreement, with groups again lacking a residential consumer voice, provides the company with a $34 million in rate hikes over two years, hammering consumers with an 11.31% hike in their monthly bills.
–United Water is turning to the PUC for approval of $7.6 million in rate hikes, leaving consumers with an alarming 20% increase in their monthly bills.
“I’m betting the overwhelming majority of Idahoans didn’t get a 7%, 9% or 20% raise or cost of living increase last year, and neither should their utility companies,” said Wordelman.
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