The price of electricity for some St. George residents is set to increase starting Feb. 1. The St. George City Council approved a 7 percent across-the-board rate increase on Thursday.
Phillip Solomon is the city’s energy services director. He says PacifiCorp unexpectedly raised the cost of transporting the power by 46 percent in September. Higher scheduling rates and a boost to the cost of electricity also prompted the decision, which occurred in the middle of the city’s fiscal year.
“We tried to avoid it and we tried to absorb it the best we could, but at some point there’s a breaking point and we just felt bad about having to go back and get the rate increase. But when your transmission rate goes up that high, there’s not much we could do,” Solomon said.
The city’s budget was already tight when it was decided in June, and due to St. George’s prior financial obligations the city council was forced to pass the increases along to customers.
“Our operational costs... they’ve actually gone down. But our costs of bringing power into the area and our power that we buy, those costs went up and there was not anything that we could do about it,” Solomon said.
The new rate will cost St. George residents four to seven more dollars a month and boost the residential rate to 9.6 cents per kilowatt hour.
Prices across Utah range from 6.9 cents from Dixie Power, which serves St. George residents living on the other side of the Virgin River, to more than 16 cents in Logan.