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Rocky Mountain Power

Rocky Mountain Power Warns of Phone Scams In Casper Area

in News/Crime

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Rocky Mountain Power is warning customers in the Casper area to be wary of callers claiming the company is about to disconnect their electricity.

Company spokesman David Eskelsen told Cowboy State Daily on Monday that there has been an uptick in scam phone calls in the Casper area this month where callers pretend to be a staffer from the “Rocky Mountain Power disconnection department.”

Rocky Mountain Power has no “disconnection department.”

“These things come and go in spates,” Eskelsen said. “Around the beginning of the month, we had a number of these calls in the Casper area, and we’ve been getting more reports about the calls again in the last few days.”

The caller will insist the customer is behind on their bill and threatens to disconnect service unless a payment is made immediately.

Lately, the calls have been targeting both business customers and those who do not speak fluent English, Eskelsen said. Some scammers will tell the victim to get a prepaid credit card and share the code with them, while others will ask the customer for credit card information.

One victim was even asked to meet the scammer at a specific location.

Eskelsen noted that the company would never call a customer and threaten immediate disconnection to their service.

“The important thing to remember is that disconnection for any payment problems is a very deliberate process,” he said. “We usually give 30 and 60 days’ notice through a customer’s bill, but we also make substantial attempts to contact a customer. We have a specific dialogue over any kind of payment issues and we offer resources to help customers if they fall behind.”

Eskelsen said anyone receiving such a call should immediately hang up and call the Rocky Mountain Power customer service line, 1-888-221-7070, to find out more information.

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Rocky Mountain Power Asks for Residential Rate Increase

in Energy/News

Rocky Mountain Power is seeking state approval for a rate increase that would boost residential energy prices by 4.7 percent while providing a 0.8 percent rate cut for its industrial customers, it announced Tuesday.

The company, Wyoming’s largest energy provider, said in a news release it will use much of the extra income from its first rate increase in five years to finance its renewable energy initiatives.

“That’s the direction our customers are asking for,” spokesman Spencer Hall said in an interview. “As a company, we’ve made it clear there are huge benefits to providing power from no-fuel-cost sources.”

If approved by the Wyoming Public Service Commission, the rate increase would take effect on Jan. 1, 2021.

Under the proposal, the costs for residential users would increase by an average of $3.69 per month, Rocky Mountain Power’s news release said.

The cost for commercial users would go up by 4.1 percent, while rates for industrial users would drop by 0.8 percent.

The decline for industrial users is based on the fact that power consumption by such users is easy to predict, Hall said.

“Supplying always-on industrial users is one thing, we know pretty much what the usage will be,” Hall said. “Commercial customers come in, turn on their lights, do work and go home at night. It’s more volatile.”

The added revenue from the rate increase will cover implementation of the company’s “Vision 2020” renewable energy initiative, as well as the refurbishment of wind turbines at the company’s Foote Creek Wind Farm near Arlington. Other items to be paid for with the increase will include the conversion of a coal-fired energy plant near Kemmerer to burn natural gas and the installation of catalytic reduction equipment on some power generating units.

The changes will help Wyoming stay in the forefront of the energy industry, Hall said.

“Its a great opportunity for Wyoming as the industry changes and moves away from coal,” he said. “We want Wyomign to continue to be the center of the energy exporting world.”

The company’s news release noted Rocky Mountain Power has invested in its Wyoming operations for the last five years without asking for a rate increase. It also said Rocky Mountain Power’s average electric rate is 10 percent lower than the average price in Wyoming and 34 percent lower than the national average.

Rocky Mountain Power provides electric service to more than 146,000 customers in the state. It is part of PacifiCorp, which serves more than 1.9 million customers in six states.

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