Some 7,750 electric customers in eastern Utah and western Colorado are likely to see lower electric bills starting this summer.
The board of directors of Moon Lake Electric Association, a rural electric cooperative that serves the area, announced a significant rate reduction beginning June 1 during a meeting Saturday in Roosevelt.Board President Lillian Peacock said the association is confident that rates will be lowered by 8 percent to 10 percent following the completion in mid-May of a system-wide rate study.
"When the study is completed, the cooperative will hold public comment meetings to convey the specific rate decrease details within the various rate classes." Currently, the cooperative has a residential charge of 6.7 cents per kilowatt hour.
Last January, Moon Lake Electric saw the culmination of months of intense negotiations with its wholesale power supplier, Deseret Generation and Transmission and its creditors. Peacock said that the Workout Agreement allowed Deseret to restructure its loan obligations with its creditors and that Moon Lake Electric was very instrumental in seeing that the new agreements were designed so that Moon Lake membership would receive lower power costs. As a result, Deseret's wholesale power costs to Moon Lake have changed and new contracts are now in place which make the rate decrease possible.
"A pivotal issue has been the development of the large power contracts with Chevron Oil Company. Moon Lake Electric is now able to provide Chevron and other large industrial consumers, an incentive rate which, in effect, helps reduce power costs for all of the Moon Lake consumers."
Peacock commented that Moon Lake's board of directors are very sensitive and aware of the difficult economic conditions within the association's service territory.
The planned rate reduction is believed to be the first in the cooperative's 53-year history. Their last rate increase was in 1985.