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Economic and dam related articles

Idaho Power Hikes Irrigation Cost 15.38 Percent

by Sean Ellis
Capital Press, June 2, 2013

(Andy Lavalley/The Post-Trubune) Some of the twenty 3 by 5 foot solar panels recently installed by Rich Herr at his home in Valparaiso, Ind. Solar power could disrupt the business model of traditional utility companies. BOISE -- Idaho Power's irrigation customers will see a 15.38 percent increase in their power cost effective June 1.

The increase is tied to Idaho Power's annual power cost adjustment, a cost recovery tool that passes on the cost of unanticipated power supply expenses not included in base rates to customers or provides them a credit if expenses are less than anticipated.

In six of the last 11 years, the cost adjustment has been a decrease or no change, but this year's $140 million adjustment is the fourth highest surcharge on record due largely to a 19 percent reduction in water the company uses to power its hydroelectric plants.

Idaho Public Utilities Commission members opted not to spread the cost of this year's adjustment over two or three years because they were concerned that could mean even higher increases for customers in 2014 and 2015 if the state experiences another low water year and a new PCA surcharge is added to the existing one.

The adjustment covers only unexpected power supply expenses and does not impact the company's earnings.

Sean Ellis
Idaho Power Hikes Irrigation Cost 15.38 Percent
Capital Press, June 3, 2013

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