A Brief History of Logan City Power and Light


In the late 1800's the Hercules Power Company owned a hydroelectric plant at the mouth of Logan Canyon. Hercules had been charging Logan citizens a flat rate of $1.25 per month for the first light bulb and 50 cents per month for each additional lamp. The City tried to get the rate reduced, but the company refused. As a result, a canvas was conducted to determine if there was support for a city-owned plant. About 60% of citizens said "yes".

In a 1902 election, citizens authorized $65,000.00 in bonds. After unsuccessfully soliciting Hercules to sell its power plant, the city bought the Scrowther Brothers dam and power house site located at 3rd Dam and city-owned electricity generation commenced in 1904.

In 1905, Telluride Power (the successor to Hercules) dropped its rate to 10 cents per bulb. At the time Logan City was charging $1.25 for the first bulb and 50 cents each for all additional bulbs. As a result, the City was forced to match Tulluride’s rate of 10 cents. At these prices, both enterprises were losing money.

In 1912, the Utah Power and Light Company acquired the Telluride power plant and the company's distribution system in Logan City. With two competing entities, electricity rates for Logan's citizens were much lower than if there had been a single provider and much lower than rates in other communities.

But the rate of 10 cents per bulb was unsustainable for both suppliers. Over time, electricity was being put to more uses and customers were connecting multiple devices to each bulb. Consequently, the trend in the industry was for power usage to be metered to reflect actual consumption. In 1927, Logan City and Utah Power and Light agreed to switch to metered rates.

Logan City proposed rates that were less than half the rate that Utah Power and Light was charging to its other customers. In response, Utah Power and Light challenged Logan's rates before the Utah Public Service Commission as being unfair, but the Utah Supreme Court ruled that the Commission had no authority to regulate municipal utilities.

Soon, nearly every customer in the city was buying power from Logan. In 1938, Utah Power and Light's franchise with Logan City expired and the City did not renew the agreement and requested that UP&L remove its poles and wires from city streets. Since that time, Logan City Power and Light has been the sole supplier of electricity to Logan City residents. Most of the power consumed is purchased from outside sources, although the City continues to generate a small amount of electricity from two hydroelectric plants located along Logan River.

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