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Unusual weather putting utility companies in tough spot

By Mike Anderson | Posted - Jun. 15, 2011 at 6:06 p.m.

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NORTHERN UTAH -- The unusually cool June weather may be good for your utility bill, but it's not great news for your water or electric company. Plenty of supply and lowered demand are putting some of them in a tough spot.

Many residents along the Wasatch Front haven't even had to turn on their sprinklers yet.

"It's been nice," said homeowner Chris German. "The grass has been really green, and everything is starting to sprout."

The job of the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District is to educate people about conserving and using less water. But now they have so much water they've turned off their wells and are depending completely on surface water.

"It's a very unusual pattern," said Bart Forsyth with the JVWCD. "I've been with the Water District now for 25 years. I've never seen this type of pattern before."

With such high supply and low demand, it's taking a bit of a hit on the District's budget.

At Bountiful City Power, Director Allen Brown says revenues are 5 to 6 percent below normal simply because many people aren't turning on their air conditioning. Bountiful City Power has had to sell much of its extra power off at reduced prices to nearby states. But Jonson says it could be worse. "Being short is a much bigger problem for us to deal with. Power becomes more expensive, it becomes shorter in supply," he said. "It's a much tougher situation to deal with."

But as long as July heats up, business will return to normal.

Meanwhile, a slightly smaller utility bill at home doesn't hurt.

"Who doesn't like to save money? Gotta save money where we can," German said.


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