Utah Power & Light Co. has filed a request with the Public Service Commission to reduce annual residential rates by $1.50.

If approved, the total $1.9 million rate decrease would be effective Sept. 1.The reduction is made possible by UP&L's ongoing program of refinancing high-interest debt at a lower interest rate, a spokesman said. Three additional decreases have been promised as a result of savings from the refinancing program.

"The electric utility industry is becoming more and more competitive, and we are determined to stay ahead of the competition," UP&L president and chief executive Frank N. Davis said. "Therefore, we are seeking every opportunity to cut costs and lower our rates."

Combined with two unrelated rate reductions this year, UP&L's rates have fallen about 3.25 percent since January.

Under a proposed merger between UP&L and PacifiCorp, the utilities have promised rates to decrease an additional 5-10 percent over the next five years. The merger is pending a final ruling from federal regulatory authorities.