Mountain Parks Electric delays rate increase following formal complaint
Mountain Parks Electric’s scheduled rate increase has been delayed due to a formal complaint filed that protests the decision of the Mountain Parks Electric board to increase the monthly service charge.
In December, Mountain Parks Electric announced they would be increasing the monthly service charge from $29 to $30.50 beginning Jan. 1.
However, Joe Smyth, a Fraser resident, filed a formal complaint asking that the board reconsider the rate increase and study other options. Smyth and the Mountain Parks Electric board will meet at 1 p.m. Thursday to discuss the rate change and Smyth’s complaint.
Due to the complaint, Mountain Parks Electric general manager Tom Sifers said the rate increase has been rescheduled to take effect on Feb. 1, pending any decisions the board makes following the meeting.
At the meeting, Smyth will present his case for reconsidering the rate change and then Sifers and other staff, including potentially the consultant Mountain Parks Electric hired to calculate an appropriate charge, will present their reasoning for the rate increase.
Then, Sifers said, the board has 45 days to make any decisions.
Smyth said he filed the complaint because changing the monthly service fee puts a disproportionate amount of the burden of higher electric rates on those who use the least electricity. Ultimately, he hopes Mountain Parks Electric will consider other rate structures.
Mountain Parks Electric cited the rising costs of maintaining power lines, recruiting and retaining workforce and the increased inflation rate as reasons for the rate increase.
According to Mountain Parks Electric’s statement on their rate change, this is the first monthly service charge increase in six years.
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