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Pacific Power customers will see 1.5% rate increase

OLYMPIA - Pacific Power's residential electric customers will see an average monthly bill increase of about $1.24 a month under a settlement agreement approved by state regulators last Friday.

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission approved a settlement that allows Pacific Power to raise an additional $4.5 million, or an overall 1.5 percent in total revenues. This was much lower than the $12.9 million, or 4.3 percent, the company asked for in its initial request filed in July. The agreement calls for a June 1, 2012 effective date.

Under the terms of the settlement, the average residential electric customer using about 1,000 kilowatt hours-a-month will see an increase of $1.24, for an average $77.65 monthly bill. The basic monthly service charge of $6 - paid by all customers regardless of the amount of electricity used - will remain the same.

An additional provision in the agreement calls for Pacific Power not to file another general rate case with the commission before Jan. 1, 2013.

The commission received 90 public comments on Pacific Power's rate-increase proposal - five undecided and 85 opposed.

The settlement agreement, which was presented to the commission March 7, was signed by commission staff, the company, the Attorney General's Public Counsel Section, Industrial Customers of Northwest Utilities and the Energy Project.

Pacific Power provides electric service to about 130,000 customers in five Eastern Washington counties: Kittitas, Columbia, Garfield, Walla Walla and Yakima. Cities in the company's service territory include Yakima, Toppenish, Sunnyside, Selah, Pomeroy, Walla Walla and Dayton.

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