Salt River Project will hold an open house Wednesday in Gilbert to provide information to the public about a planned 4.9 percent electric rate increase.
The open house will be held from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Southeast Regional Library, 775 N. Greenfield Road.
SRP personnel will be available to provide information on the increase, which would go into effect May 1 if approved by the SRP Board of Directors, and on programs available to help customers save money.
SRP's management originally proposed an 8.8 rate increase to go into effect Nov. 1, but that was rejected by the board as unacceptable during an economic downturn. After making spending cuts, managers came back with the 4.9 percent proposal.
Another open house will be held Jan. 19 at the SRP Pinal Call Center, 3735 E. Combs Road, Queen Creek, and an "open microphone" meeting where customers can make public comments will be held at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 20 at Sierra Vista Academy, 7501 E. Oak St., Scottsdale.
Board members will be present at the latter meeting, SRP spokesman Scott Harelson said.
The full SRP board will meet at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 11 at the utility's administrative offices, 1521 N. Project Drive, Tempe, to hear comments on the proposal from management, consultants and the public. A final vote is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. March 11 at the same location.
If approved, the increase would add an average of $5.95 to a typical residential customer's monthly bill, Harelson said.
The hike is needed to cover the construction cost of the $1 billion Springerville Unit 4 coal-fired power plant in eastern Arizona, which began operating in December, SRP officials said. It replaces a power plant in Nevada that was closed due to environmental concerns.
Also the increase would help to pay for $500 million in additional emission-control equipment at another coal-fired plant in St. Johns, SRP said.
More information on the proposal is available at www.srpnet.com/priceinfo.