State regulators approve Idaho Power cost shift

rbarker@idahostatesman.comMarch 31, 2014 

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission approved an Idaho Power request to shed $105.7 million from its annual power cost adjustment and to place the costs into its permanent base rate.

The power cost adjustment reflects Idaho Power's actual costs of providing power, fluctuating up or down depending on how market prices and other factors compare to the company's predictions.

This won’t affect your power bill now, but it should reduce the soaring increases from the power cost adjustment that last year rose 15.3 percent, one of the highest on record.

A big chunk of these costs - $62.6 million - came from power sales agreements with wind projects required under the provisions of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act. PURPA requires utilities to buy energy from qualifying renewable energy projects and many have come online since 2010.

This doesn’t mean the post cost adjustment this year won’t increase your bill. Low water this year could force Idaho Power to get power somewhere else, especially during its peak season. And Idaho Power may find low prices again when it sells excess power on the open market.

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