Bountiful residents may notice that, despite lower energy use, their bill has increased. There are two reasons behind this.
One is the ten percent increase the city has placed on power rates. I was aware of that rate hike and blogged about it previously along with the fact that the city continues to use the power service as a de facto tax and transfer almost $2 million from the power fund into the city’s general fund. It is also worth noting that Bountiful Power costs more than the regulated and taxed Rocky Mountain Power.
When I last discussed the issue, I was unaware that the city would also more than double (a 240% increase) the “customer charge” (you pay it for being their customer). Interestingly, the fact that the customer charge was also increasing was either left out of the article or not disclosed to the reporter when I wrote that post.
Residents will now pay $4 for the privilege of being Bountiful Power and Light’s customer. That is an increase of about $2.35 per month or about $28/year. Crunching the numbers using the 2000 census of Bountiful households (13,341), the city will increase power revenue by about $377,000/year. It will be worth watching if the power fund transfer to the city jumps by that that amount in the coming year.
Bountiful is, now, not only higher than Rocky Mountain Power in the kilowatt hour rate, but also doubles Rocky Mountain Power’s customer charge (RMP only charges $2).
As I noted last time (and later confirmed by a call to the power department), Bountiful Power, unlike RMP, is not subject to any oversight or scrutiny by any regulatory agency. As a matter of fact, no municipal power provider is in Utah. Currently, Lehi (I think) and Bountiful are the only two cities I am aware of that overcharge power users to allow slush funds to flow into city coffers. Maybe it is time for some sort of oversight on these local monopolies.