Local utility Salt River Project announced Tuesday that they are considering a proposal that would lead to a 2.2 percent decrease in the overall average of annual prices.
SRP spokesman Scott Harelson said the average price cut for a typical customer would be about $1.78 per month, but the number all depends on each customer’s price plan and energy use.
He also said the proposal does include a “modest base increase” to cover more than $2 billion SRP put into its system, maintenance and new facilities, but that increase is “more than offset by a significant reduction in the cost of fuel.”
The decrease in costs stems from the greater reliance of the utility on natural gas, which is cheaper than coal and is slated to remain that way.
“(The decrease is) important … because SRP as a community-owned, not-for-profit public power utility, our expenses are passed onto our customers,” Harelson said.
The decrease would start at the May billing cycle and would add on to the temporary 1.5 percentage decrease already approved this year.
Additional changes included in the proposal are a reduction of summer on-peak hours for some price plans, along with additional pricing options for customers who generate some of their own energy.
Thursday marked the start of the public process that allows customers and stakeholders to submit questions and comments online or at public meetings.
Harelson said a decision will be made early next year by SRP’s publicly elected board of directors.
“Our customers expect affordable prices and excellent customer service from SRP and they desire a more sustainable future,” SRP CEO Mike Hummel said. “This proposal balances our responsibility to maintain reliability, offer low prices and customer choices, and have financial flexibility that supports a transition to increased renewable energy technologies.”