Idaho Power Requests Would Bump Residential Power Bills $3.48 Per Month 

click to enlarge A residential Idaho Power line on the Boise Bench. - ZACH HAGADONE
  • Zach Hagadone
  • A residential Idaho Power line on the Boise Bench.


If Idaho Power gets its way, two proposed rate adjustments could trigger a $3.48 monthly increase to a typical residential customer's bill.

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission confirmed Friday it was mulling a pair of requests from Idaho's largest utility.

A so-called "power cost adjustment" traditionally comes once a year when Idaho Power says it must raise or lower rates based on "factors largely beyond the company's control."

This year, Idaho Power is asking the PUC to approve a $17.3 million increase, or an average monthly bump of $1.32 to a typical residential customer who uses about 1,000 kilowatt hours per month. Idaho Power officials are pointing to PURPA contracts—the federally mandated contracts with solar developers—as one reason for the cost adjustment. Idaho Power is also blaming lower than projected hydroelectric generation, lower than forecasted wholesale market prices for electricity and an approximate 1 percent drop in earnings during 2015.

A so-called "fixed cost adjustment" can come at any time and is designed to ensure that Idaho Power recovers its cost of delivering energy when energy sales decline due to reduced consumption. To cover those costs, company officials are asking for a 2.2 percent rate hike, or an average monthly increase of $2.16 to a typical residential customer who uses about 1,000 kilowatt hours per moth.

Customers are welcome to comment on the proposals at the commission's website, puc.idaho.gov. Comments are welcome through May 23. If approved, the rates could go into effect as soon as June 1.
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