Idaho Power proposes double-digit rate increase for residential customers - East Idaho News
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Idaho Power proposes double-digit rate increase for residential customers

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BOISE (Idaho Statesman) — Idaho Power customers may see a substantial increase on their electric utility bills in the coming months.

The Boise-based company announced in a news release Friday that it filed its annual spring cost adjustments with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to raise rates for services by $11.06 a month for the average residential customer.

Idaho Power said neither the company nor its shareholders would “receive any financial return” from the rate hike.

The filing is a request for $200.2 million to recover expenses tied to annual fluctuations in power supply costs, according to the news release. The adjustments, if approved, will take effect June 1.

“We understand times are tough for many, and we are sensitive to the impacts price increases have on our customers,” said Ryan Adelman, vice president of power supply at Idaho Power, in the news release. “Unfortunately, our power supply costs were higher this past year because of continued drought conditions, high natural gas prices and fuel supply challenges, and we must recover those costs to maintain the reliable service our customers depend on.”

There are two components of the annual cost adjustments, including a fixed-cost adjustment and a power-cost adjustment.

The fixed-cost adjustment, which Idaho Power filed March 15, proposed a near $10 million, or 1.6%, decrease for residential and small commercial customers, which would lower monthly bills for a typical residential customer by $1.66 a month. The adjustment alters prices based on changes in energy use per customer during the prior year.

In the power-cost adjustment, used to recover costs by passing them onto the customer, Idaho Power requested an increase of 11.9%, or $12.72 a month, for the average residential customer.

The combined impact means rates would increase by a total of 10.3% for residential customers, 8.1% for small commercial customers and 16.2% for large commercial customers. Large power customers would see rates go up 20.3% and irrigation users 15%.

The adjustments would be effective from June 1 through May 31, 2024.

Idaho Power said the increase in this year’s power-cost adjustment is the result of higher power costs related to natural gas, market prices and lower than expected hydro generation, as well as a limited supply of coal.

It includes costs incurred the previous year and an estimate of what energy will cost in the coming year, the news release said.

The utilities commission will review the proposal and decide whether to approve, modify or reject it. Written comments regarding the case can be filed on the PUC’s website.