Washington state attorney general challenges PacifiCorp's proposed rate hike

By Legal News Line | Mar 23, 2016

SEATTLE (Legal Newsline) — Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s Public Counsel Unit is challenging PacifiCorp’s proposed $20 million electricity rate increase over the next two years.

The Public Counsel Unit has released their own recommendations, stating the rates should actually decrease by $4.5 million. The unit believes that no evidence exists to support a rate increase for consumers.

PacifiCorp, which provides electric utility to 128,000 consumers in Washington, has raised rates five times in the last six years, raising them an average of $20 per consumer each time.

“After five increases in recent years, PacifiCorp has simply not made the case for even higher bills over the next two years,” Ferguson said. “Our duty is to serve as a watchdog for consumers and ratepayers, and my office will oppose unfair and unwarranted rate hikes.”

Ferguson’s Public Counsel Unit has filed expert testimony with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC), providing reasons why PacifiCorp should not increase rates and tactics the company should use to decrease rates. Mainly, the unit rejects the company's notion that it needs accelerated depreciation on its Jim Bridger coal plant.

The UTC will review these recommendations.

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