Some question need for huge SRP rate increase

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MESA -- A public interest lawyer and others are questioning why Salt River Project needs an 8.8 percent rate increase during a down economy.

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Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest director Tim Hogan said SRP doesn't pay taxes or shareholders and is paying less for fuel.

SRP officials say they need the rate hike to replace older power plants and purchased power contracts that are expiring.

Hogan said if the utility had embraced renewable energy, it wouldn't need to build new coal-fired plants.

If the utility's board approves the rate hike, SRP would take in an estimated $218 million in additional income in 2011. An SRP spokesman said the typical residential customer would see a monthly increase of $12.22.

Information from: East Valley Tribune/Scottsdale Tribune

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