Idaho officials balk at credit elimination

State utility regulators vow to fight a decision that kills an electric rate credit for Idaho customers.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff October 13, 2008

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission is protesting a move by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) to eliminate a monthly credit that had benefited residential and small-business customers. The $5.35 monthly credit had been passed through to Idaho Power Co. residential and small-business customers until May 2007.
The protest follows a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision, which held that said BPA–the region’s federal wholesale power marketer—violated the Northwest Power Act when it approved a settlement in 2000 regarding wholesale power rates and credits to customers of Northwest public and private utilities. The court had said customers of the region’s privately owned utilities received too much in credits, while customers of public co-ops and municipalities were overcharged.
Idaho Power had passed through $15 million annually, and Rocky Mountain Power, which serves eastern Idaho customers, previously passed through $10.7 million annually. The latest plan offers no credits to the two utilities’ customers. In a press release, the Public Utilities Commission stated, “For the BPA administrator to issue a decision that all but eliminates these benefits for Idaho customers is inconsistent with the act.”