Scottish Power has filed a request with the Utah Public Service Commission that it be allowed to recover in higher tariffs £96 million of the costs incurred by Pacificorp, its US subsidiary, in buying in unexpectedly high-priced wholesale electricity during last year. Utah’s problems are not as acute as California’s, and Scottish Power is less vulnerable than its California counterparts because it generates most of its own power, but analysts are agreed that the company’s profits will be substantially reduced by rising costs in the US unless an agreement can be reached.

Scottish Power is the UK’s largest electricity grouping, but it has suffered recent setbacks. Profit opportunities have been reduced by regulatory price capping in the UK, and it has had to foot a bill of $1 million a day for replacement electricity and the cost of repairs at its coal fired power station in Hunter, Utah, following the total breakdown of a generator core.

The hearing is likely to take place on January 22.