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UP&L USERS PAY SLIGHTLY MORE THAN U.S. AVERAGE, REPORT SAYS

Utah Power & Light Co. customers paid slightly more than the national average on their power bills last summer, according to a recent report by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.

In 1989, UP&L ranked 85th lowest among the 187 service areas surveyed by the association. Lewiston, Idaho, which is serviced by Washington Water Power Co., had the nation's lowest rate at 4.2 cents per kilowatt hour.The most costly area was Chicago, served by Commonwealth Edison Co., at 14.3 cents per kwh.

The U.S. average was 8.32 cents per kwh; UP&L's rate was 8.4 cents.

On a regional basis, the hydro-powered Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon and Idaho) fared best followed by the Rocky Mountain area, which includes Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and the two Dakotas.

Portland-based Pacific Power & Light Co., UP&L's sister company, placed four of its service areas in the top 25, including third-place Yakima, Wash., at 4.3 cents per kwh. Portland was 17th at 5.6 cents; Kalispell, Mont., 22nd at 5.9 cents; and Caspar, Wyo., 25th at 6.0 cents.

Since 1984, UP&L's average cost has remained fairly constant although the company's ranking has improved. In 1984, UP&L customers paid an average of 8.9 cents per kwh, which ranked the company 124th.

The survey was based on an average billing of 500 kilowatt hours per month from June through August, 1989.

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(Chart)

A comparison of the costs

Five least expensive areas:

Lewiston, Idaho 4.2 cents

Spokane 4.3 cents

Boise 4.7 cents

Ontario, Ore. 4.8 cents

Five most expensive areas:

Chicago 14.3 cents

New York. 14.2 cents

Long Beach, N.Y. 14.0 cents

Philadelphia 12.9 cents

Middletown, N.Y. 12.7 cents

National average 8.32 cents

Utah Power & Light 8.4 cents