Heber Light & Power customers may see a slight increase in their upcoming power bills. The power company says the increases are a result of increasing expenses and growth.
“Material that we use to keep the system maintained has gone up with all the stuff that’s happening out there in the world,” Norlen explained. “Our material is very commodity sensitive so, the price of that stuff has increased a little bit since the last time we increased rates. We’ve got to stay competitive on wages. We’ve also got a couple of really big projects that are going on that can’t be 100% funded by impact fees, but a good portion of them is going to be funded by impact fees. That’s why the four-percent rate increase rather than bad as it could have been.”
Heber Light and Power also has a public hearing on September 30th to increase impact fees by 22%.
“What the impact fees do is when that development starts to fill up with houses each time service gets put, on let’s say a 200-amp service gets put on, that fee goes toward the system impact,” Norlen continued. “So, if we’ve got to rebuild a substation because of all this growth, each service that goes on, new service pays that impact fee. We really are trying to make sure growth is paying for itself. At the end of the day that’s always a balancing act.”
Recently some customers have complained on social media about increased bills. Norlen says that’s common for this time of year as people now are just getting their bills for July and August. The summer months are often more expensive as people run their air conditioning units. Norlen encourages those with unexpectedly high bills to contact the power company.
“Let us help,” Norlen said. “Let us help you buy a smart thermostat that can keep your home in the right zone so that you’re not seeing these spikes. We have budget billing. So, if you don’t like that great big bill let us budget bill you and feather it out through the whole year so that you’re not having these shocking bills just in the summertime. We’re here to help. We’re public power. We’re your neighbors, come and talk to us. We’re happy to do energy audits, we’re happy to do rebates for smart thermostats, for energy efficient stuff. Come in and talk to us, see how we can help you lower your power bill. The cheapest kilowatt we can get is the one we don’t have to buy. We really like energy efficiency, and our customers wanting to do that.”
You can find more information about energy audits, rebates and other programs here. Heber Light and Power is also in the midst of updating their integrated resource plan. You can provide your input through their survey on their website.
Read the original story at KPCW.org