Idaho PUC approved 6.8 percent rate increase for Idaho Power to pay for gas plant

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission granted Idaho Power Co. a 6.8 percent rate increase to pay for its new Langley Gulch natural gas generating plant near New Plymouth.

The commission rejected critics' arguments that the plant was ill-timed because of a drop in power demand of at least 1.5 percent. But it had little choice but to approve the nearly $400 million capital expenditure after it granted Idaho Power a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity in 2009 under a streamlined approval process passed several years earlier by the Idaho Legislature.

The plant was scheduled to go online July 1, increasing the investor-owned utility’s revenues by $58 million.

“The plant was substantially complete and became commercially available Friday afternoon,” said Stephanie McCurdy, an Idaho Power spokeswoman.

Without it, the company said its peak-hour loads estimates showed it would still be short of its generating capacity by 28 megawatts this month, 169 MW in July 2013 and 224 MW in July 2014. The company’s last record peak was hit in 2009.

An Idaho Power customer, who uses 1,020 kilowatt-hours per month, will see their average monthly bill increase by $5.63, from $82.72 per month to $88.35.

Ken Miller, an energy analyst for the Snake River Alliance, which advocates energy efficiency and alternative energy, said he did not want to reopen the 2009 decision. But he still believes Idaho Power didn’t need to build the new plant now, especially because the Hoku polysilicon plant in Pocatello and the Micron-Transform Solar project in Nampa, which are larger power users, are closed.

He argues that Idaho Power could meet its peak demand for less cost by expanding programs to manage irrigation pumps, air conditioners and other larger power users so they use less power during peak hours.

“I think when people see it show up on their bill they're going to realize how big of an increase it is,” Miller said.

Idaho Power had asked for a 7.1 percent increase but the commission adjusted down some of the costs approved.

1341526184 Idaho PUC approved 6.8 percent rate increase for Idaho Power to pay for gas plant Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Whatever IP wants, IP gets.

and they want more money

IPUC and Idaho Power . . . go away!!

EVERYONE knows that Idaho Power is the company to get on with. They pay fantastic wages and offer fantastic benefits. At our expense, of course! All of the increases that the IPUC approves are becoming a joke. Just as are many of Idaho Power's "programs". I was not surprised to see that we, Idaho Power users, pay into their "energy efficiency" program that covers upgrades of insulation, yet VERY FEW even qualify for this program. Idaho Power recently even changed the program to give .15 per square foot (instead of .25 per square foot), and has modified the "pre-existing level of insulation" clause to be "equal to or less than R-20", where it used to be "R-38" thus allowing most residential customers to blow several more inches of insulation into their attics. Not anymore, as not many people have a beginning R-factor of R-20 or less. Just another way for Idaho Power to rip us off. We have a power pole with a separate meter which ONLY houses a security light, yet even on that bill we are charged for "Energy Efficiency Services" every month.

Don't even get me started on what Idaho Power has done to the farmers and ranchers . . .

If they would ask soon enough...

I could 1/2 way meet that.

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You fry wants with that?

What is the point

of the IPUC?

Walkies! Heel, dammit.....

Everybody needs a pet.... IPCO's got the PUC.

Who's a goooooood doggie??? Yeeeessss you are! Yeeessss you are!!! Gooooood boy! Here's a pupperoni!

Good question and

as far I know, NO ONE has been able to explain just exactly what they do for the citizens who pay their wages. I consider them almost "professional politicians" which is an insult in my book.

More $$ for lobbying and the Idaho Freedom Foundation

It goes without saying - the PUC grants every Idaho Power Company rate increase. The PUC does not have a spine certainly does not have the ability to say "no, that is enough".

I am sure the money taken from the wallets of residential customers will support more lobbying expenses for the Idaho Freedom Foundation that Idaho Power has become a major sponsor. This is what we pay for? It is a shame that neither the PUC or Idaho Power can never do "the right thing".

Another Rate Increase by teapartiers

for teapartiers ....I hope the Company formally known as Idaho Power, now TeaParty Power realizes most sane people think this dogma is insane. As for the PUC, hard to sic a lapdog after an intruder.

oh darn my gas bill just

oh darn my gas bill just went down and again IP stuck it to me again...sing us a song Idaho Power about your poverty...only entity I know that can steal money from it's users up front to foot their desire to create more power so they can sell it to other states and grids...it lets them suppliment the guaranted money for that stock holders..without interest too the customers...there are several more increases on the books just waiting to be approved so they can feather their pockets ..worst than any union in the USA..you go Big John screw us some more keep pimping us we make good whores for your stockholders..

Tea party ethics

Rate increases are similar to taxes for the prosperity of corporate America. Which of course is the basis of our government(if that is what you call it). Lord knows that they need the money so new construction to service the public shouldn't cost them anything.

Anyone interested in facts?

Hello, this is Gene Fadness from the Idaho Public Utilities Commission. I know everyone is frustrated nationwide with increasing electric rates as demand for electricity continues to rise at the same time costs increase. So someone has to be at fault, and the PUC is an easy target. But you might be surprised at what some actual fact checking, rather than knee-jerk criticism, may turn up.
Idaho Power has two large rate cases since 2008. In the first, IPC-E-08-10, the company sought a 9.89 percent increase and an increase in annual revenue requirement of $66.6 million. After a six-month process, the company was granted 3.1 percent (1.6 percent for residential customers) and an annual revenue increase of $20.87 million. The PUC was able to reduce the company's request, and still meet our statutory obligations, by roughly two-thirds. That, Rohnert, is what the PUC does.
In its second rate case, IPC-E-11-08, the company sought a $81 million increase in annual revenue or 10 percent. It was granted $34 million and a 4.2 percent increase, which was reduced to 3.44 percent with a decrease in the Energy Efficiency Rider. That is what the PUC does.
Think it through logically. What possible motivation do we have to arbitrarily increase rates? We pay the same increases you do on top of hearing from understandably frustrated customers every time rates do go up. Indeed, I would venture to say, that we dread increases even more than you do. But we can't regulate by popular will, but instead by public interest. If a utility can legally demonstrate that it incurred additional costs to meet the needs of customers now, as well as planning into the future, Idaho law requires they be compenstated their prudently incurred cost of doing business. Believe me, customers are even more angry when the power is off than when rates increase. Please go to our Web site, www.puc.idaho.gov, and examine the documents in both those rate proceedings. This is a far more complex process than many realize it is. Thanks for hearing me out.

They don't need any more gas! Their trucks smell like them now!

I live in OREGON!

You ever mothball a nuclear plant???

Some kind of 5.1 Dolby Wussurround here.`

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You fry wants with that?

The only problem is...

That Idaho Power understands exactly how the PUC works. If they want 3%, they ask for 8%. It's a running joke among Idaho Power employees and everyone knows that the PUC--especially Paul Kjellander--are pawns of the utilities. All you have to do is look at donations to former representative Kjellander and the state's Republican leaders over the past many decades. Follow the money!

If you want utilities to act in the interest of its citizens, then Idaho Power should be privatized. When is the last time you ever heard Idaho Power having a layoff or taking a salary reduction? Never. It's no coincidence: they have all of the money they need (especially their executives) thanks to corrupt politicians and the PUC (that could be redundant).

Hey, ConEd IS on strike, if power plays turn you on?

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You fry wants with that?

We weren't born yesterday

Hi History:
Thanks for your comment and I won't try and change your view that we're all corrupt here at the PUC only to invite you to come visit our offices, get involved in rate cases, read all the evidence and documentation (it can be easily done from our Web site) and if you can find ways that we can legally reduce rate increases beyond what we do, we are more than happy to welcome your suggestions.
As far as your comment that the utility purposely high-balls a number knowing the PUC will accept something under that, I guess all I can say is we weren't born yesterday. Regardless of the amount the utility requests, it has to justify every expense; we approve what we think should be included in base rates and decline that amount we think shouldn't. Then Idaho Power or other intervenors, after a 6-month rate case is completed, have the right to appeal our decisions to the Supreme Court if they think we have disallowed expenses necessary to serve customers. Finally, commissioners appointed to the Commission cannot receive donations from any source and don't raise funds, period. Commissioners and commission staff are forbidden by law to invest in any utility the Commission regulates.

No, but I share a #1 Beatles song on mine,

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You fry wants with that?

Gene, Thanks for your input, but

you're trying to educate people that aren't smart enough to pour urine out of a boot. All they want to do is complain about some of the absolute lowest rates in the nation. Don't even attempt to educate them about allowable earnings per share. They don't want to hear about the amount of donations both in-kind and financially that IPCo. gives, especially to smaller communities in their service area. And everyone knows for a fact that all people on the PUC staff (including you) drive a Rolls Royce bought and paid for by IPCo. with a little bit of help from Intermountain Gas, Centurylink, and a few water companies, not to mention some utilities up north. Sheesh....Sunny...

Don't forget

We pay for those lower rates in other ways. We paid with entire runs of salmon never to be replaced in rivers like the Weiser. Don't forget the big run of fall chinook that once spawned in the Snake River near Swan Falls either. I don't think that was a cheap price to pay.

Sunny before you come off

Sunny before you come off sounding like you're all that and a boot full of urine, I read this as we are already using less than we produce and can sell off the excess. So if we can now produce more with the new plant, sell more off to other grids, make more money for the shareholders, why not let them bare the burdon of the cost of this plant right now instead of the rate payers? Ohhhh that's right, couldnt see short term revenues for the shareholders go down due to bad projection of needs from the company even if later it made people more money once it's paid off. Better to let the fixed income folks who can least afford it pay for it. BTW Gene. Since I move here and started on level pay I watch my bill very closely. I have now changed to high effeciency W and D, microwave, dishwasher, refridgerator. My usage each month is at or below the previous years usage for the last 5 years since I returned to Idaho. So tell me how with only 2 rate increases my level pay has gone from an initial 77$ to now
103? It sure wasnt with only 2 increases. It was nickled and dimed with multiple smaller ones.

Insults aside...

I'll let your first sentence go--apparently you don't do well with people that think differently than you name-calling is your defense.

No one questions the community involvement of Idaho Power employees, their dedication to customers, and their competency. Even corporations that are terrible have a silver lining. Even IP executives are generally good people, from my experience. I work for a large company I believe to be great--but I also know that while some philanthropy is honorable, some is also targeted and contrived for public consumption. Apparently you've swallowed that bait.

Those of us that oppose the PUC structure and Idaho Power relationships with our state government believe that having so much power and influence managed by so few people creates the possibility (even likelihood) for corruption. At a minimum, there is the appearance of corruption. I've no doubt that the PUC staff is filled with honorable, well-intentioned people. There is also no doubt that the "wink-wink" of IP executives drinking, dining or golfing with PUC commissioners, elected officials and others in the state's Republican ruling class takes place. All you need to do is look at the money IP and its network contributes to Idaho campaigns and you'll see where we are screwed up.

If Idaho taxpayers guarantee that IP never loses a dollar (which we all know is the truth), why don't we share in its gains? I love the comments above about "buying a share of stock" which is fair on one hand and cynical on the other.

Idaho claims to be conservative and oppose concepts of "welfare" and yet when the welfare recipient is a business Idaho Republicans are wildly hypocritical. Farmer support? That's noble--preserve a way of life! Utility management and preserving monopolies? No problem! A Micron tax-free zone? Of course...that's just the price of getting jobs.

No, folks. That's Corporate Welfare. Creating a PUC that unties the web of relationships with utility companies and truly acts on behalf of the citizenry is the vision some of us support.

Which is not true any way it's observed.

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You fry wants with that?

Not a knee-jerk response....

Mr. Fadness, back when IPCO was guaranteed its operating costs plus a fixed profit, pretty much everywhere I spent time in their service area had top-notch service and power bills were reliably low with only small rate increases. Since deregulation, rates, while still low, have shown a steady climbing trend, local customer service has been shut down in several locations and most of IPCO's preventative maintenance seems to be limited to the higher population areas; where I live, an average-intensity rainstorm can cause power outages that last for hours, something that looks very much like an equipment problem to me.

In the meanwhile, my rates have increased time and time again. I've been racking my brain to think of the last time the PUC denied IPCO a rate increase. Not just negotiated a lesser increase, but told them "hey, everyone's got to live within their budget". Do you know, I can't think of one.

IPCO has had since 2009 to pay for this new power plant. Why did they not pay as they built it? Why do they need a rate increase TWICE as big as the two you cite as proof that the PUC is protecting the public as well as IPCO?

I wonder how much weight the testimony of Idaho Power's customers carries with the PUC, as opposed to that of IPCO's accountants.

I'm not sure what you mean,

I'm not sure what you mean, Trackmonster, when you say, "back when IPCO was guaranteed its operating costs plus a fixed profit," and, "Since deregulation, rates, while still low, have shown a steady climbing trend ... " There has been NO deregulation of the electric industry in Idaho, and Idaho Power, as well as other regulated electric utilities, are still guaranteed recovery of prudently incurred statutes plus a reasonable rate of return, as spelled out in Idaho Code 61. That has not changed.
I do agree with you that there has been a steady increase in electric rates. I remember the days when major rate cases were spread three or even five and 10 years apart. Now we have major rate cases almost every year (not to mention the yearly Power Cost Adjustment, which have been decreases the last two years, thank goodness and Idaho water). This has been the trend nationwide and Idaho is no island. Look at the rate cases in other states and the amounts of those increases and I think you'll be very grateful to be living in Idaho, ranked 51st in both average electric retail rate and in percent of increases over teh last decade.
There have been two studies conducted by the Legislature in the late 90s regarding deregulation at the retail level. Both studies indicated even higher rates and an unwillingness of competitors to come and serve particuarly rural areas. Montana deregulated about 10 years ago and we all know what happened there. However, if customers think that electric service should be deregulated and the Commission no longer set rates, then they should approach their legislators, because that is where the decision would be made.
The Langley Gulch gas plant was granted its certificate to build in 2009 and the regulatory compact under which we operate says that customers should not have to pay for electric plant until is "used and useful" for customers. The plant went on line last week and was then included in rates, spread over the 35 years. Had customers been forced to pay for the plant as they built it (over 3 years) the rate increase would have been astronomical and you would be paying for a plant not yet benefitting customers, not producing electricity.
Regards,
Gene Fadness

Dear Gene Fadness

Instead of coming here to talk down to people for having the audacity to question anything related to Idaho power, why don't you take their concerns to heart and fight the good fight for them? Oh yeah - you don't care!
You're responding here to walk the corporate line and talk the corproate talk.

Out of all the hydo dams in Idaho, how often do they generate electricty? Why don't they run 24/7 365? In fact, isn't it true that these dams could be replaced with protected turbine construction methods in a free flowing river, which would enable continious generation? The reason such new development isn't being proposed or constructed is because continuous generation would more than satisfy the power needs to Idaho residents, and as such, no rate increases would be needed. But dams sit idle most of the time, and the power that is generated is being sold to different states. In short, it's a scam and you know it,and that's why you came here today and you're intent is to do what you need to do in ordfer to keep scamming Idahoans, and lastly, please, please, please, stop referring to us as "customers"!

Potatolander, It's not my

Potatolander,
It's not my intent to talk down to those making comments and if I have done that, I apologize.
I'm responding to comments or suggestions made about the agency for which I am employed, not Idaho Power or any other entity we regulate. These issues have to do with an Idaho Power case, so it involves Idaho Power issues and their customers. I'm sorry if the term customers offends you, I will try and use "ratepayers' when referring to customers of any utility we regulate.
And I know you won't believe it, but I come to work every day, as do the other employees of the Commission, with the intent of trying to meet the public interest, which isn't always the same as the popular will. The public interest is the Commission's statutority requirment to ensure that all ratepayers are provided "adequate and reliable" electric service at the most reasonable cost possible.
Regarding your question about the operations of Idaho Power's hydroelectric dams: It is the usual practice of utilities to operate their generation resources with kind of a "stacking" mechanism, where the utility first goes to its least-cost resource and then works up the stack to more costly generation as demands increase. That's why power is more expensive during peak-use periods (like today!) I also know that Idaho Power is constrained somewhat by how and when they operate their hyrdo facilities to accommodate fish flow.
But having said all that, this may be a good question to ask Idaho Power or if you would like to pursue it with me, contact me at gene.fadness@puc.idaho.gov and I will get a more knowledgeable staffer than I to look at it.
Idaho Power is required to allow the public to participate in its Integrated Resource Planning process, which is a long-range look at what types of generation it should acquire and how that generation should be operated. You are more than welcome to participate in that process and I will be happy to give your more information about that.
Regarding sales of surplus power, Idaho Power cannot sell power unless it is, in fact, surplus and native load has first been met. And when there is surplus, you want Idaho Power to sell. It can't be stored (note yet anyway) and ratepayers get 95 percent of the proceeds of those sales. So when there's surplus, to paraphrase a famous politican's quote: "Sell, baby sell!"
Gene Fadness
Idaho Public Utilities Commission

Gene, You may have missed my

Gene, You may have missed my little question to you as it was buried in my earlier post so I'll ask here. It appears to me that IPCO is meeting the peak demand and has done so since 2009 when the permits for this new facility we are now being asked to pay for were being done. My question is why are the "customers", "ratepayers" "monopolized citizens of Idaho" however you want to coin us paying for this when peak demand is being met and surplus is "SELL BABY SELL"? I want to know where you think the ratpayer is getting 95% of these proceeds? I'm thinking the SHAREHOLDERS are getting the benefits of this more than the ratepayer/customers as my bill as stated earlier has gone nothing but up despite purchases of high efficiency home appliances and sweating to death as I raise the temp on the air conditioning higher and higher. I do watch the bill every month and have for most months been SEVERELY below the previous years usage either due to the ave temp for that month or my use, very few have gone up and yet the bill climbs and climbs. I guess maybe you and IPCO should ask how Int Gas is lowering rates while year after year you have to increase even though peak damand is met and unless I'm reading that wrong looks like it will for several years to come.

Good comment, Bioman!

Good comment, Bioman! Bottom line . . . the IPUC and Idaho Power don't give a hoot about "customers", "rate payers", whatever you want to call us. It is what it is and it always will be. My household has gone to burning wood and not using our high efficiency furnace and we will continue to do so. We also have not turned our air conditioner on this summer. I watch our utility bill closely, as you do, and, like your bill, ours keeps going up and up and up and up and up . . . great job IPUC!!

Good questions, Bioman

You are right, that in recent times, overall demand on Idaho Power's system has declined, due to a recessionary economy and fairly wet springs this year and last. Their decline is about 1.5 percent. However, the company projects, that without Langley, there would have been a deficit of about 28 megawatts this month, 169 MW in 2013 and 224 MW in 2014. There were other parties in the case who argued the plant is not needed. In the end, the Commission ruled that the company made the case that the plant is needed. I'm including here, the press release for that Order. If you want to read all the parties' comments in the case, including those who opposed the plant, you will find it by clicking on the electric icon, and going to Case No. IPC-E-12-14. In the meantime, here is the press release:
http://www.puc.idaho.gov/internet/press/062912_Langleyfinal.htm
When the company has surplus power and sells in the market, Idaho customers get 95 percent of those proceeds and that is applied against the yearly Power Cost Adjustment (PCA) made every June 1. In the last two years, your PCA surcharge has decreased, 6.5 percent in 2010 and 4.8 percent in 2011. I'm happy to provide links for those cases as well if you's like to e-mail me at gene.fadness@puc.idaho.gov. And, yes, shareholders benefit from those surplus sales as well. The company has not done as well on surplus sales in recent years because of low natural gas prices.
I don't doubt your bill is increasing. Mine is too. Your purchase of energy efficiency appliances and keeing the AC down as much as possible is keeping your rates lower than they otherwise would be. If you think there may be errors in your billing (not an impossibility) feel free to contact our Consumer Assistance Section at 334-0300. They would be happy to review your bill with you.

The link above may not work

You may have to cut and paste it in your browser. Or easier, go to our Website, www.puc.idaho.gov. Click on "press releases" in the upper left-hand corner and it is the third press release down dated 6/29.
Gene Fadness

Just a few questions, then...

If IPCO is operated under the same regulations as it was in, say, 1970, why have they closed regional service centers? Why have they "centralized" repair personnel instead of locating them throughout their service area? Why do they drag their feet when it comes to replacing marginal equipment in rural parts of the state? And why is it that, according to the SEDS chart for energy expenditures in Idaho, residents in this state paid roughly 135 TIMES as much per million BTU-equivalents of electricity as they did in 1970?

Why is IPCO bringing major rate cases every year and why is it that they never seem to get turned down? What size were the negative Power Cost Adjustments and how long did they last, compared to the major case adjustments? When did a major case last result in lower power rates?

Between the recent Idaho Power decisions and the horrendous ruling regarding Century Tel, it looks to me very much like you and your fellow commissioners have forgotten that you are supposed to be looking out for the consumer, not just the utility. Some of us have no choice but to buy from these two entities, and from my view, you and the rest of the PUC are letting them provide us with "service" in the agricultural sense; i.e. what a bull does to the cow.

On a different note . . .

Trackmonster,

This is a bit off topic, but since you brought up Century Tel, I wanted to share my experience with my new home phone service. We were getting tired of paying exhorbitant fees just to have a home phone. We were currently at $65 a month just for local service. No long distance. Qwest had talked us into having a business line since we run a business out of our home. When we tried to switch it back to residential . . . no way would Qwest or Century Tel let us without a huge inconvenience on our part. A couple of month ago I switched to Verizon and their "Home Phone Connect" plan. $20 a month and it includes unlimited long distance. Have never had a dropped call or even any "break up" in a call. Only drawback is that caller ID just shows the number and doesn't identify a name with it. Well worth the over $45 per month savings though!!

There's lots of questions here, but I will try to answer some

For a more detailed response, please feel free to e-mail me at gene.fadness@puc.idaho.gov. I promise I won't reveal your identity on this board if that is a concern.
1)Utilities across the country as services, such as customer billing, became automated began closing regional offices and laying off personnel to offset increases in expenses in other areas. I think you'll see that in all business sectors. I rarely get a live person anymore -- at least initially -- when I call any company. If you feel the utility is not responding to customer needs promptly in rural areas, we have a Consumer Assistance Section that will gladly take your complaint and, if warranted, assign an investigator to your case. If there are other customers in your area experiencing the same slow responses, it is more effective if you can get them to contact us as well. Their number is 334-0300.
2)As demand for electricity grows and costs increase, rates will go up. Our job is to review expenses by the utility to make sure of two things 1) were they needed to serve customers and 2) if they were needed, were they prudently incurred. It is true that rate cases are being filed almost annually by all our utilities and utilities nationwide as demand and costs increase.
3) The Power Cost Adjustment increase was 5.1 percent in June this year, but, fortunately, reductions in other areas reduced that increase to a net 0.3 percent. The PCA is adjusted every June 1 based on the previous year's water and market conditions and a forecast of the next year's and a true-up of the previous year's forecast. The PCA covers that portion of utility expenses that vary every year -- water conditions, fuel costs, market prices. It lasts one year and then is renewed every June 1. In 2011, the PCA was a 6.5 percent decrease, but other increases reduced that decrease to a net 5.2 percent decrease. In 2010, the PCA was a 4.8 percent decrease. The press release on the PCA and other June 1 adjustments is below:
http://www.puc.idaho.gov/internet/press/060112_IPCoPCA.htm

4) I'm sorry you have a low opinion of the PUC. We come to work every day to do our best to meet the public interest: which is a financially healthy utility, reliable electric service at the lowest cost possible for ratepayers. That is what Idaho Statutes require we do.

Gene Fadness
Idaho Public Utilities Commission

You actually said: IPUC regulates by public interest? Sheesh!

And where Gene, do these prudent costs (and who judges prudent costs, the PUC?) come from? The IPUC has, for decades, disregarded public interest, concern, and opinion has been ruled irrelevant by the PUC whenever the minions from Idaho Power come forward with another demand that rate payers pay costs for development to support their needs to sell power to other users on the grid. When do those development costs shift to shareholders? Idaho Power is not a publicly held company -- we do not have a vote. All we get is one increase after another and a government entity that does nothing to protect our interests. It is not only the two large increases since 2008 but all of the small ones that come 3 and 4 times a year that do damage to average working people who don't have the resources to pay out everything that Idaho Power demands.

It is time to take a deep breath and a step back ... It is time to examine the roles of both Idaho Power and IPUC because the public interest is not being served. You may hear the grumbling when the power is out ... but you can also be deadly assured that Idaho Power is not giving rate payers any of their hard earned money back for the time and expense when the power is out and the food in the refrigerator has totally gone to waste. Tell me one time when Idaho Power has given back to consumers?

It is not knee-jerk criticism -- it is our reality. Government does nothing for consumers except rubber stamp whatever Idaho Power wants. Go back and read the history.

IDA (NYSE)

Want a vote? Buy a share. Idacorp, the holding company for Idaho Power, is a public company.

I don't want a share/vote - I want a free market

YOU CAN'T HANDLE ONE. Nor do you know how to get one.

IT WAS CALLED "ENRON"

run along.

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You fry wants with that?

Do you even know what one looks like?

Read up on deregulation in California and Montana and then be thankful for regulated utilities.

"No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government." Neil Peart

just imagine if everything that failed at one time or another

was never attempted again. where we society be?

Nice quote - too bad you don't subscribe to such a mindset

Juno, I'm happy to provide

Juno,
I'm happy to provide as detailed a listing as you'd like of the expenses approved as well as those disallowed in any rate case or yearly adjustment. I don't know who you are, but you know who I am so please feel free to contact me at any time. My e-mail address is gene.fadness@puc.idaho.gov. If you, the Legislature or anyone would like to more closely examine the ways in which Idaho Code spells out how utilities are regulated in the state and who does that regulation, we are always more than happy to assist in that examination. You are also more than welcome to contact me at any time to arrange a visit to our offices and examine any case record, and examine them online as well. Another otpion for you: There are several customer groups who get involved in rate cases, either directly as intervenors, or indirectly and I'm sure would welcome more citizen participation. They include the Community Action Partnership Association of Idaho (CAPAI), AARP Idaho, the Idaho Citizens Action Network, the Idaho Conservation League, the Snake River Alliance and organizations representing customer groups such as industrial customers, irrigators and contract customers.
Cheers,
Gene Fadness

I have an idea . . .

Gene,

Why doesn't the IPUC put all of these rate increases out for a vote of the "customers". My bet would be that the majority of "customers" would NOT be in favor of all of these increases!

I'm willing to give it a try

Interesting comment. When presented with all the facts, what the rates pay for and what will happen if Idaho Power doesn't build and maintain generation, transmission and distribution, I think Idahoans are pretty darn smart. Like us at the Commission, they would probably look for ways to reduce the requested increases, but I think that, in the end, they'd vote to keep the lights on.
Gene Fadness
Idaho Public Utilities Commission

Somehow

I feel that the definition of 'prudently incurred cost' is highly subjective and lost in the translation that is guided by IPUC.

You're right, what is

You're right, what is prudent and what is not is a judgment call, but one we make based on certain standards. The reason a rate case typically takes about six months is that there all sorts of parties, not to mention the company itself, that are trying to make the case for which expenses are needed to serve customers and prudently incurred and which aren't. After collecting quite literally reams of evidence, it is then up to the Commission to make that call, which, in the end, is usually never exactly what the company, the intervening parties or even its own commission staff recommend. And I will state once again that the evidence examined by the Commission is public material and is available on our Web site for each rate case. That gives customers an opportunity through written comments or through our public hearing process to voice their views on what they think is prudent.
Gene Fadness
Idaho Public Utilities Commission

Thank you for participating in the discussion

Mr. Fadness,

Thank you for participating in the discussion here. It is good to hear the PUC's perspective.

I don't always agree with it, but I suspect that there are disagreements inside the PUC at times too.

Hopefully, your presence will lead to having better discussions.

rate increase

Surprise,surprise,surprise.

If you don't like your Idaho

If you don't like your Idaho Power Bill, who is one going to switch to? I's not exactly like private owned business. This is what happens when you have these quasi companies. Part Government part private sector and if OBO has his way about it, your gonna see a whole lot more of this cr ap!

T-Party politics ?

If only you knew just how ignorant your post is . Who did you blame on the other rate increases over the years ? Take SOME responsibility for your life and stop blaming others for the problems you face -- pathetic !

just wait

until Idaho Power elects a few more legislators, with the help of IACI and the IFF, and then they can get through that bill that failed to go through a couple of years back, which would have allowed them to raise rates in *advance* of building a new plant.

Idaho Power

No one likes their power bill, but remember, we pay less than half what states
in the east are charged, or even Calif.
If you want to pay less, solar panels work, just to expensive right now, hopefully they will start getting cheaper and we can have access to them.

Of course solor panels are way expensive

its the way IP wants it.. make it to expensive for the average person to get and there stuck with the monoply of IP.. I always thought that a business proffets were suppost to go to development and new buildings.. not stick it to the consumer.