Idaho Power wants to segregate solar customers into their own rate class because their usage pattern looks different than other customers which will inevitably make it easier to levy future fees and charges, a regulatory trick successfully deployed in Kansas. Using this logic, perhaps we should create a new rural customer rate class as the usage pattern of a condo in hot Boise looks different than a home in cool Garden Valley. Idaho, unlike many other states, hasn’t de-regulated the utilities to allow customer choice and market forces to drive competition. The net-metering program, which has created hundreds of new local solar jobs, is the only mechanism that provides any customer choice and competition in Idaho Power’s state-granted monopoly service territory. Idaho has less than one residential solar installation per thousand persons, far less than neighboring Utah and Nevada who have more than eight residential solar installations per thousand persons. However, despite this low saturation of residential solar, Idaho Power wants to restrict customer choice. If you would prefer an Idaho (not Kansas) solution and want to maintain real customer choice, come to the public hearing at the Public Utilities Commission on March 1 in Boise.
Chad N. Worth, Garden City