Idaho Power want to suspend its popular A/C Cool Credit and Irrigation Peak Rewards programs because it says it has more than enough capacity to meet its needs.
By ending the programs designed to help reduce power demand during peak use periods temporarily, the investor-owned utility says it will save money for its customers. Instead it will run its coal plants, its natural gas plant on top of its hydro dams to meet the demand the two programs were preventing.
The savings will come, Idaho Power says, because it won’t have to pay for the expenses for the program that customers pay for, which it says are higher than the generation plants, which its stockholders get a guaranteed rate of return to operate.
Idaho Power’s stockholders don’t make money on what it calls demand response and energy efficiency programs. So it has an incentive beyond just saving customers money.
So like most regulated utilities that generate their own power, it cuts these programs first if the Idaho Public Utilities Commission approves. Commissions have in the past encouraged these kind of programs over the long haul as a way to prevent added generation costs long term.
Idaho Power hasn’t decided what to do after 2013.
“We appreciate our customers’ involvement and participation in these programs, and value their business now and in the future,” said Customer Relations and Energy Efficiency Manager Theresa Drake.
The A/C Cool Credit program provides residential customers who participate in the program with a monthly bill credit of $7 per month in the summer in exchange for allowing Idaho Power to cycle their air-conditioning units off and on during periods of high system demand during the summer months of June, July and August.
The Irrigation Peak Rewards program provides irrigation customers who participate in the program with a financial incentive for allowing Idaho Power to turn off their irrigation pumps during periods of high system demand during the summer months of June, July and August.