SWLP Requests Rate Increases Due To Refinery Fire
Superior Water Light and Power has filed a rate hike request with the Public Service Commission. One of the factors included in their collateral is a net-loss of income based on the refinery fire and explosion that occurred at Husky Energy in April.
According to news reports, SWLP would seek rate increases of 2.01% for electric service, 2.31% for natural gas, and 8.26% for water. Any rate change usually takes months to work its way through the approval process and public hearings have to be held before any final decision is made by the Public Service Commission.
SWLP doesn't actually cite Husky Energy by name in their application, but their explanation narrative hints at the anticipated lengthy delay that the refinery is expected to be off-line. According to the Superior Telegram:
In documents filed May 25, the utility doesn't refer to Husky by name, but calls the company, "its largest water customer and second-largest electric customer."
It further states that the company "will not operate for an extend period of time due to an explosion and ensuing fire at their location in April."
SWLP expects Husky to operate in the near future, but in the meanwhile, it must calculate the interim loss of revenue, which the utility expects to be lower in 2018 and "significantly lower electric and water revenues in 2019".
Other reasons cited by SWLP for the rate increase include their multi-year process to upgrade utility meters to digital models that don't require manpower to read them.