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PP&L seeks 10 percent rate hike, public input

In a case pending before Washington state's Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC), Pacific Power and Light's parent company, Pacificorp, is seeking a 10 percent rate increase for electricity customers.

Clark Satre is a regional community manager for PP&L, and attributes the proposed rate hike to a "combination of factors".

Satre said the factors include increased costs of generating power, fuel price increases, wage benefits and general operating costs. If approved, Satre said the increase would raise the typical power bill by about $6 or $7 per month.

Simon ffitch is public counsel for a section of the Attorney General's office that represents the public regarding utility fee increases.

According to ffitch, Pacificorp's proposed hike is not only meant to cover $23 million in losses the company has encountered but for growth in Utah, one of the states the utility company serves. ffitch said that's the same reason the UTC denied a rate increase Pacificorp sought last year.

"The big issue is how to separate out the company's costs to produce electrical service in Washington state from their overall costs in serving a number of western states," said ffitch. "How do we make sure Washington rate payers only pay for power to Washington state customers?"

The public will have an opportunity to weigh in on the issue on Friday, March 2, during a public hearing to be held at Walla Walla Community College, 500 Tausick Way. The hearing is hosted by the UTC and will be held from 4 to 6 p.m.

A notice of the hearing will be sent to PP&L's customers, ffitch said.

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