The public is welcome to voice its opinion about the proposed merger between Utah Power & Light Co. and PacifiCorp at a 10 a.m. hearing Monday before the Public Service Commission.

Hearings are being held on the fourth floor of the Heber M. Wells Building, 160 E. Third South.Out of the 15 days scheduled for hearings on the merger, the commission has set aside Monday as public witness day. The other days are for testimony from witnesses scheduled by UP&L, PacifiCorp and other parties supporting and opposed to the merger.

"We encourage those who have an inclination to do so to testify on public witness day," PSC Chairman Ted Stewart said, noting that public comments will be taken into consideration when deciding whether to approve the merger.

The commission began hearings last week on the proposed merger in which UP&L would become a division of Portland, Ore.-based PacifiCorp. Both utilities claim the merger will result in efficiencies for both companies and rate reductions of 5 to 10 percent for UP&L customers over the next five years.

But merger opponents question whether UP&L and its customers will actually benefit from the merger in the long run, and whether PacifiCorp, which already operates in a six-state territory, will recognize the needs of customers in Utah.